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Malaysian car manufacturer Proton has announced plans to develop its own high-performance petrol engines while also gearing up to begin work on a diesel power plant.

Recent worries about Proton’s future appear to have motivated the company to move to the next phase. Proton is planning to export to a wider range of markets while still battling back home in the ever challenging domestic market.

According to managing director, Datuk Syed Zainal, high performance and diesel engines are a must if the company is to remain competitive.

Power and torque ratings are yet to be announced, however we do know the engines will be available in 1.8 and 2.0-litre capacity, possibly turbo-charged.

“New export markets that we want to penetrate, like India and China, have high demand for diesel and for us not to have diesel engines incorporated in our cars would be a mistake.” Zainal said

Proton, which has had a long history of using other manufacturers’ engines, is now looking overseas to find a suitable partner to help develop its own engines. According to Zainal, Proton is forced to look overseas as local Malaysian companies can’t supply the necessary technology.

“I do not think a local partner can offer us the capability to develop a ‘next level’ engine,” he said, adding that an eventual tie-up should finalise Proton’s engine product planning for the next five years.

Proton will launch the new Persona in May, while the hotted up R3 Satria is expect early next year. That will be followed by the company’s first MPV, expected in March.




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