Proton takes a power pill
The Malaysian brand is doing something about its anonymity crisis
pitched into the bottom end of the baby-car class, as well as an overdue commitment to safety.
And Proton is going turbo, both with the Exora and a version of the Persona.
The local operation has been hit heavily by delays in product updates from Malaysia, as well as the loss of its unique (but short on safety) Jumbuck ute.
‘‘ We think the Exora could give us something to fill that Jumbuck niche. It’s a smaller people-mover and there aren’t too many competitors,’’ Proton Australia managing director John Startari says.
The Exora will only come to Australia with the top-line mechanical package, a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine and automatic gearbox.
The likely target price is less than $30,000 on the road.
Critically, however, both the Exora and Persona will be here in the second half of the year.
Before the heavier hitters, Proton will have an update of the current Persona Elegance and the S16 FLX to keep things ticking over.
Further into the future, and despite a battle raging over the ownership and direction in Malaysia, Startari says Proton has a plan. ‘‘ I think Proton will be at the cutting edge of safety, and we’ll be using the Exora platform to leverage the Lotus ride and handling in all our cars,’’ he says.
Puffed up: Proton’s Exora wagon is coming as turbo only