Thursday, August 11, 2016

PROTON have started teasing the all-new B segment sized Proton PERSONA

Proton has now officially teased us with one (1) picture of the all-new Proton Persona which will be launched soon. The car, will effectively replace the current Persona but it is supposedly slightly smaller than the one which has been around for....err...a very long time (about 9 years or so to this date). The main difference between the new Persona and the new one is the size.

The previous one, a sedan version of the Gen2 hatchback is a compact sedan or C segment sedan. This new one is based on the smaller sized Proton Iriz supermini  hatchback which is in the B segment or a category down. Here are two spyshots of the new Persona from

The car looks quite up to date. I think the styling is very contemporary and quite sporty looking. Look at the gaping front bumper and rear diffuser thingy at the rear. Of course, being a small B segment car and one based on the Iriz hatch, it has tiny wheels on it. Well, you cannot win 'em all with a car that has to be affordable, be competitive, be the bread and butter provider for a company. A car like this must cater to a wide range of customers. But I like the new styling. It looks sporty. Very important to a lot of Malaysians actually. I mean, look at the aftermarket parts for the current Proton models and see how they are transformed.

As for the new Persona's drivetrain, many are claiming the latest CamPro 1.3 and 1.6 with its VVT setup would be used with a better CVT gearbox. Bigger changes should come down the road after the new GDI engines come on line after they are first put inside the larger Proton Perdana. (UPDATE - I have driven the all-new Persona. Click here to go there)

This is part of Proton's plan to rationalise their model range especially when the whole range of new cars Proton has stated they will launch comes out. Right now, if they launch this Persona when the Proton Saga BLM is still on sale there will be an overlap before the Saga replacement goes on sale. That car would be even smaller than the current Saga and sit in the city car or A segment. Much like where Perodua's Bezza sedan sits. 

This would actually make Proton's range of cars more sensible throughout the range. It will be something like this:

New Line-up                                                                                          Old Line-up
A segment                                                                                        A segment
All-New Saga sedan (1.3 only when it comes out)                                           -None-

B segment                                                                                       B segment   
All-New Persona Sedan (1.6 only when it comes out)                        Saga BLM sedan
Iriz Hatchback 1.3 & 1.6                                                                   Iriz Hatchback
Suzuki Ertiga 1.4 MPV rebadge

C segment                                                                                        C segment                                                                                  
Preve 1.6 CPS / CFE Turbo Sedan                                                   Persona Sedan
Suprima S CFE Hatchback                                                                Preve Sedan
Exora CFE MPV                                                                              Suprima Hatchback
                                                                                                         Exora  CFE MPV

D segment                                                                                       D segment
New Perdana 2.0 & 2.4                                                                       -none- (before July 2016)

So from having everything lumped into the C segment, there is now a better spread of cars in all the main market segments with popular sedan, hatchback and MPV models. This has taken them a while and it should get better when they get even better with their new direct injection  (GDI) engines end 2017 beginning with the Perdana.                                                                      

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