Proton prefers to keep a tight lip regarding information on its future vehicles. The company, like Apple prefers to keep mum until the eventual launching. In the case of the PCC however, Proton did exactly the opposite by allowing journalists into a secluded area of its Centre of Excellence building in Shah Alam – a place that the outside world rarely gets to see.
Like any other automaker, Proton prefers to keep prying eyes away from models currently under development, which is the same in the case of the PCC or Proton Compact Car. The PCC, seven of them to be exact, were placed in a special storage room whose entrance was manned by two police officers and a number of Proton employees. Since the PCC has not been launched, flash photography was strictly prohibited during the reveal and Proton went through great lengths to keep it that way as even smartphones of journos had their camera lenses covered by tape and then the phones placed in plastic bags. This made me wonder, if Proton was going to show me a car or a spaceship.
This much of security for the PCC? The security level there was befitting of a UFO reveal at Area 51 but, I guess Proton had its reasons. Anyway, after a brief presentation on the car, the PCC was finally revealed in all its glory. Dimensions wise this small Proton is 3,905mm long, 1,720mm wide and 1,550mm high. By comparison, the Perodua Myvi is 3690mm long, 1665mm wide and 1,545mm high, which means the PCC is a relatively bigger car than Perodua’s breadwinner. Proton says that 4 years were spent on creating the PCC at a cost of about RM500 million. This goes without saying that the national automaker is hoping for great things from this little car. Having had first hand experience with the car, I can say that quite a lot of effort was put into it, both in design and construction. The body structure utilises ultra high strength steel, the same kind used in the Preve, which makes the body rigid and able to protect occupants effectively during a crash.
From the front, the contours as well as the headlights look very similar to that of the Saga FLX, while the grille and chrome pieces look akin to that of the Preve. At the rear, the PCC takes on an angular look with the tails lights and boot lid taking on prominently sharp lines, which should be to the liking of younger car buyers. When launched, the PCC will be offered with a choice of two engines, which are a newly developed 1.6-litre VVT unit and a 1.3-litre VVT one that is said to be a reworked version of the current 1.3-litre CamPro engine. Both engines will be mated to either a CVT transmission or the tried and tested 5-speed stick shift.
Just like its bigger brothers, the PCC will come loaded with tech that are lightyears better than vehicles like the Saga and Savvy. For starters, manoeuvring through tight spaces won’t be an issue because the PCC is equipped with electronic power steering. Hill Hold Assist, is a feature that keeps the car from rolling back when the PCC stops on an inclination. All the driver needs to do to get going is, to step on the accelerator pedal and set off.
Keeping the PCC in check are a plethora of safety systems that include 6 airbags, Antilock Braking System (ABS), Electric Stability Control (ESC), Tracton Control System (TCS), Electronic Brake Distribution(EBD) and Brake Assist. This is an impressive list of features though I’m a little skeptical about the base trim car getting everything mentioned here.
Like Proton’s current line up, the PCC comes with power windows, but, what sets it apart from that of its brethren is the ability to roll the windows back down when an obstacle (your hand) prevents it from going up fully. This is a welcome feature especially for parents who are worried about their kids getting their hands injured. The system works pretty well although I have a blood shot middle finger to prove that it isn’t idiot proof.
Inside, the interior is unlike anything you’ve seen from Proton, as the quality of materials used far exceed that of the Saga BLM. But what is most interesting is that, despite the car’s dimensions, the cabin offers generous legroom both for front and rear passengers. To put that into context, a driver with a height of 187cm could adjust his seat comfortably and the rear passenger of the same height, will still have more than enough legroom to remain comfortable on long journeys. But what will interest many is the addition of two USB charging outlets for your smartphone and tablet on top of the dedicated USB outlet for your thumb drive.
When launched, the PCC will be offered as three variants; Standard, Executive and Premium. The 1.3-litre car will come in Standard and Executive trim levels while the 1.6-litre car will be offered as Executive and Premium variants. The Standard doesn’t come with a lot of the “bling bling” of the Premium variant and as such has to forgo many of the chrome trim pieces, DRLS, rear spoiler and a number of other trim fitments.
Despite countless cleverly disguised questions thrown at the Proton team, they refused to divulge information regarding pricing but it has been understood that it will not exceed RM70,000.00 because that would cause it to encroach on territory occupied by bigger offerings.
The “take home” of this entire “Top Secret” reveal was for the public to know that Perodua’s Axia isn’t the only game in town and that come 25 September 2014, the highly anticipated PCC will be launched for Malaysian car buyers. So mark that day on your calendar!
Edited by Fongmy, 10 September 2014 - 01:09 AM.