Pro­ton’s latest hit, take five

The Malaysians have a five-year plan to be com­pet­i­tive, writes NEIL McDON­ALD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

ATURBODIESEL and high­per­for­mance four-cylin­der en­gines are now of­fi­cially part of Pro­ton’s fu­ture.

Pro­ton Hold­ings Bhd man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Datuk Syed Zainal an­nounced this week the com­pany will de­velop its own high-per­for­mance petrol en­gines as well as a diesel.

It is ex­pected to an­nounce a tie-up with a for­eign car­maker to de­velop the en­gines by June.

Volk­swa­gen, PSA-Peu­geot Citroen and Mit­subishi have pre­vi­ously been in talks with Pro­ton.

The high-per­for­mance 1.8-litre and 2.0-litre petrol en­gines are tipped to power Pro­ton’s Lo­tus­tuned hot R3 mod­els and will com­ple­ment the com­pany’s 1.3-litre and 1.6-litre Cam­pro en­gines.

The per­for­mance en­gines, along with the tur­bod­iesel, are part of Pro­ton’s plans to launch one new car ev­ery year for the next five years. The an­nounce­ment comes as the Malaysian car­maker pre­pares to tackle a wider range of ex­port mar­kets such as China and In­dia, as well as fight tough com­pe­ti­tion in its home mar­ket of Malaysia.

Zainal says high per­for­mance and diesel en­gines are a must if the com­pany is to re­main com­pet­i­tive.

‘‘Work is un­der way to ex­plore the de­vel­op­ment of high- per­for­mance 1.8 and 2.0-litre en­gines and we are also in talks with sev­eral for­eign par­ties,’’ Zainal says.

‘‘ Go­ing for­ward, the nextgen­er­a­tion and higher seg­ment (Pro­ton) cars will need 1.8- and a 2.0-litre pow­er­plants as well as a diesel.

‘‘A lot of mar­kets are mi­grat­ing from petrol to diesel and it is im­por­tant for Pro­ton to not be left be­hind.’’

Robert Bosch is be­lieved to be in talks with Pro­ton to sup­ply diesel fuel-in­jec­tion sys­tems. Bosch cur­rently sup­plies a host of en­gine man­age­ment sys­tems, brakes and other com­po­nents for Pro­ton.

Zainal says Pro­ton is con­sid­er­ing only for­eign part­ners be­cause Malaysian com­pa­nies will not have the de­sired tech­nol­ogy.

‘‘I do not think a lo­cal part­ner can of­fer us the ca­pa­bil­ity to de­velop a next-level en­gine,’’ he says.

Keep up: man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Datuk Syed Zainal doesn’t want Pro­ton left be­hind.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.