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2012 Proton Preve: small flagship sedan debuts

The Proton Preve has been unveiled in Malaysia, revealing the new flagship model in the brand's low-cost line-up.

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The Malaysian Prime Minister was on hand at the launch, emphasising the significance of the all-new compact sedan, which represents a generational leap forward for the domestic manufacturer in terms of quality, design, performance, safety and technology.

The Preve (pronounced ‘prae-vae’) will replace the Persona in Proton Australia’s range when it arrives in local showrooms in September, although it promises to be significantly more refined and better equipped to take on popular and more established small sedans like the Mazda3, Toyota Corolla and the Holden Cruze.

Proton Australia has previously confirmed the Preve will come standard with six airbags and electronic stability control (ESC) in our market – a big improvement over the Persona, which has just two airbags and no ESC.

Two models will be offered: the entry-level GX and the range-topping GXR. The GX is powered by an 80kW/150Nm 1.6-litre petrol engine and will be available with either a five-speed manual or a ‘six-speed’ continuously variable transmission (CVT). Accelerating from 0-100km/h takes between 12.0 and 12.5 seconds, and Proton says fuel consumption (measured at a constant 90km/h, not over a combined cycle) ranges from 5.8-6.2 litres per 100km.

The GXR gets a similar 1.6-litre petrol engine, although a low-pressure turbocharger boosts its output to 103kW and 205Nm (between 2000-4000rpm). The engine is teamed exclusively with a ‘seven-speed’ paddle-shift CVT, producing a sprint time of 9.5 seconds and fuel economy of 6.6L/100km.

 

The Preve becomes the first model to showcase the Proton’s new design language, with the fused headlights and grille to become a signature of the marque going forward. Proton says the “seamless lines and classy curves” of the Proton badge and grille give the Preve “a distinct look of a bird ascending”.

At 4543mm long, 1786mm wide, 1524mm tall and with a wheelbase of 2650mm, the Prevé is a similar size to the Mazda3 sedan, and its 508-litre boot promises to be one of the largest in its class.

In Malaysia, the base model comes standard with front and rear fog lights, USB input, iPod integration and Bluetooth connectivity, while the top-spec model adds automatic headlights and wipers, leather-wrapped steering wheel, satellite navigation, push-button start, cruise control and climate control.

Australian specifications will be revealed closer to the Preve’s local launch in September. The all-new sedan is expected to cost at least as much as the outgoing Persona, which is priced from $16,990 to $18,990 driveaway.

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