by Brett Davis

Proton has just released images and details of the new Mitsubishi Lancer-based 2011 Proton Inspira, which has just been launched in Malaysia.

The car comes in three different variants, two of which use a 1.8-litre engine – available in either auto or manual form – and also a 2.0-litre version – only available with an automatic CVT gearbox.

Most of the design as well as the mechanicals of the new Inspira are provided by bigger brother, Mitsubishi, but Proton has made all the necessary adjustments so the car is suitable for the Malaysian market.

Proton has adapted its traditional grille design on the front and given it minor detailing changes such as the chrome-stripped boot lid and revised front and rear bumper bars as well. Proton also says the car features specially-tuned suspension by Lotus; something the Lancer version doesn’t get.

Chairman of Proton parent corporation Proton Holdings Berhad, recently said,

“Proton is ready to move even further ahead to become a recognised player in the global automotive industry. We have been working and collaborating with Mitsubishi for the last 25 years and its a natural step forward for us to continue to work with them in this project.”

Proton Australia has said the new Inspira will not be coming to Australia, although, we think it would do quite well here to widen up the market a bit and provide a cheaper alternative to the relatively successful Mitusbishi Lancer. What do you think?

  • Matthew

    Does the Mistu variant sell in Malaysia?

    “Proton has made all the necessary adjustments so the car is suitable for the Malaysian market”

    Like what? reduced air bag count? No ESC?

    • vee

      The Mitsubishi Lancer sedan comes in 3 variants in Malaysia. In GT spec and EX spec with the 2.0 litre engine. The Evo is also sold but I’ll leave it out for purposes of this discussion. Lancer GT is priced at approximately RM119k. The Inspira in 2.0 litre guise sells at RM92k.

      Adjustments made are:
      – “Lotus-tuned” suspension
      – Different head unit
      – Reverse placement of the speedometer and tachometer
      – New grill and bumpers
      – Addition of a “body control module” that allows for “follow me home” functions, etc.

      All Inspiras and Lancer sedans in Malaysia DO NOT come with ESP.

      Obviously Lancer owners in Malaysia are pissed.

      To counter the Inspira, Mitsubishi Malaysia launched the Lancer Sportback a couple of weeks back with a 2.4 litre engine. Priced at RM129k with ESP.

    • andronicus

      Put a Proton badge on…job done!

  • vee

    It is highly unlikely that Mitsubishi will allow Proton to sell the Inspira outside the Malaysian market because it is basically a clone of the Lancer.

    Perhaps after the new Lancer is launched worldwide, this ruling may change.

    • MisterMister

      ??? Peugeot is allowed to sell the 4007 here, which is a rebadged Outlander.

      • Aussieitalian

        Not that I’m a fan but the Peugeot 4007 does have a Peugeot engine and a few other tweaks so it’s not ‘just’ a rebadged Outlander – unlike many of the Corolla / Astra cars of the late 80’s and early 90’s.. or the Ford Maverick and Nissan Patrol.

        • jbh

          Or the XF Falcon ute and Nissan “The Ute”…

          • Aussieitalian

            True that. Wonder what they were thinking.
            oh, and to amend my previous post – I meant Holden Nova, the Astra of the ’80’s was a Nissan Pulsar.

  • Myron

    Proton plan to become a more ‘recognised player in the global automotive industry’ by continuing to sell rebadged (albeit slightly modified) Mitsubishis? How innovative!

    The only reason these guys are around is because of their volume sales in the Maysian market, which are due to the 300% tariff protectiions the Malaysian government places on imports.

  • Taka

    OMG the new Proton EVO!

  • jes

    wow.. looks better than lancer gt !

  • vee

    The Outlander and the 4007 are more different to each other than the Inspira and the Lancer.

    Trust me, the Inspira is virtually identical to the Lancer.

    • Baddass

      Very true. For a start, it has a different engine and tranny, not to mention better interior. But I still couldn’t justify paying the extra over a Outlander or rivals.
      Anyways, I actually prefer the Proton styling of this than the Lancer. The front looks better resolved.

  • Able

    Keep it in Malaysia if I’m honest. The Lancer is already good/cheap enough as it is. I’ve also heard that they have significantly reduced noise insulation (from the already-noisy Lancer) in the Inspira, so I’m not sure what it’d be like on a highway. Proton’s are literally everywhere in Malaysia – you’d think that they’d be able to at least give the Lancer a different look for they’re ‘all-new’ model!

    • vee

      From initial test drive reports, the Inspira is quieter than the Lancer. It also handles better than a Lancer on Malaysian roads. Don’t know whether it is suitable for Australian roads.

  • FREE

    All this car is a minimum safety Lancer

    Proton bought the car and stuck a badge on it and boom

    How much is it though?

  • Shak

    You guys gotta admit though, with all the Proton bits and bobs added on, it looks better than than the donor car.

  • Sexythang

    lancers are not very high quality. having them localize some of the parts of the car from dodgy local suppliers just makes it worse. just wait and see. the problems will come.

    • Hiroshimi

      Mitsubishi is the most reliable cars on the road. Instead of rubbish Holden Garbage or Ford garbage


  • eightiesman

    Will there be a ProtonArt Tommi Makinen Edition?

    • Toxic_Horse

      Haha lol

  • Unknown

    Yeah to many Malaysian here bashing Proton like what they’re born for,it’s too typical.
    FYI,the Lancer spec in Malaysia is damn similar with the one in Inspira.
    The only difference is the rear and front bumper design,smaller wheels,better handling,lower NVH.
    And again the car spec is similar to the spec of the Lancer offered in Malaysia.

  • Unknown

    The totally different Inspira will be launched in one year time.
    Moreover,the S16 or Saga will receive it’s first facelift and the car will be launched next month.
    What I heard is Mitsubishi is still considering to rebadge the Exora and Persona of Proton.

  • Stoney!

    Wow, proton will be taking a backwards step in interior materials quality an fit and finish it seems.


  • Jindal

    What about spare parts? Lots of workshops around the world would love to import cheap “Inspira” spare parts for their customers Lancers! 😉

  • delux

    Does this mean that a new Lancer is on the horizon? I cant see any other reason why Mitsu would sell this design to Proton. If proton made a Jumback version I would so buy it.

  • 5294

    Remember the first Satria and Persona, both rebadged previous model Mitsubishi’s. Nothing wrong with model sharing, gives more choice, more competition and evenually the copy usually becomes a very good used car that is much cheaper than the original.

  • paul84

    Would i want to see the proton in Oz? No, sorry.

    Wouldn’t that mean Mitsubishi would be competing against a lower level manufacturer (Proton) and lose touch with their real competitors (Toyota, Holden, Mazda and Ford).

    Doesn’t sound like a good move to me. Leave the cheap imitation where its marketed for.

  • keyrol

    Wonder if the price of Inspira is comparable with Lancer…maybe people will choose Lancer than Inspira..

  • Bala

    Greeting All,

    First at all Congrat’s to Proton.Great Photocopy work.
    My first concern would be the quality of the body.Proton have done test drive and so on, did proton perform crash test with various speed ?.
    How many security feature has been added to this box ?
    How many AirBag in total ?.
    Can anybody tell me Which proton version have the stronger or solid body ?.

    Second, I am not sure on the price if what VEE said is right, different between LANCER GT(119K) and Inspira(92K) is 27K. The good buyer will go for Lancer GT for long term and value of $$$.

    Proton inspira should be valued as RM69K – RM79K.

    Conclusion – Proton did the good job, in order to satisfied Malaysia resident for those who cant effort to buy MitEVO.

    Peacefully waiting for Peugeot 508 for next summer.Its going to bloom with comments.

    Thanks guys.

  • khan

    ripped off …x 3 ..monopolised market,malaysian citizen been ripped off ,cheated,….again nj again….shame

  • Frank

    to all the people who thinks this inspira model sucks,look back at the mirror…do you guys produce car?
    it’s proud enough for Proton to have such models conquered the road.
    And even you guys mentioned that this particular model a copycat of lancer, Proton has had a deal Mitsubishi…too good!

  • Xckg99

    cis!the most horrible stupid car in the world.shame on u protong potong copy cat cars!our nation proud hahaha

  • X99evo

    kereta bodoh rekaan otak lembu xmasuk u.buat malu bangsa mleyu kreta klon jadi kebanggan rkyat.kesimpulanya protong tak mampu,x ada idea,xinovatif cakap x srupa bikin ingat rkyat bodoh ka!

  • darling

    ins-pira-ted kahahahhahh buat malu malaysia boleh!!!