Three model variants announced. Tentative price range from RM62,000 to RM75,000....
|[+ click to enlarge] |
|The Proton P3-21A lines up for another demo run against the Persona at the Power of 1 showcase in Bukit Jalil.|
|This angle gives us a good look at its silhoutte|
|Observations at the demo suggest that the P3 takes hard cornering well.|
The Proton Power of 1 showcase opens today at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, welcoming visitors until this Sunday, 18 March 2012. Entrance is free, with plenty of attractions are in store for enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike - motorsports demo runs from the Proton rally and Lotus F1 teams, time attack challenges, R&D showcase, and merchandise sales.
For those seeking employment, Proton's HR team has set up a special recruitment tent to meet you and collect your resumes. Also present are the Proton Edar sales team ready to take your orders for a Proton car, with attractive deals being promised to all who book at the carnival. To facilitate the purchasing decision, Proton has roped in a number of finance companies to set up shop at the carnival enabling processing of loans on the spot.
There are plenty of reasons to be at the carnival, but the main crowd puller will most certainly be the new P3-21A sedan. A soft launch was held at the event ground this morning, and Proton's Group Managing Director Dato' Sri Haji Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir has announced an indicative price range from RM62,000 to RM75,000.
Bookings for the new model are officially open today at all Proton showrooms nationwide, and customers will be presented with a choice of two 1.6-litre engines - the familiar Campro IAFM+, or the newer Campro CFE. Precise outputs of the engines are not stated, but we can assume them to be at the familiar 108hp/150Nm (IAFM+) and 138hp/205Nm (CFE) figures or thereabouts.
The IAFM+ variant will have the option of manual transmission, but the CFE will be equipped with CVT as standard. It is safe to assume that the transmissions are being sourced from Getrag and Punch respectively. Information made available at the event suggests that the CVT will have seven virtual ratios and paddle shift for manual override, but whether this is standard for both CVT models or just the CFE variant is unclear at the moment.
The P3-21A has been generating plenty of interest in recent months, and Proton is looking to further up the hype in this event. A 'sneak-peek' box is placed in one of the event tents where visitors can glimpse bits of the car through strategically placed viewing slots. At the main tent currently rests an empty chassis of the P3 that has only part of its dashboard, driver's seat, and a covered engine in place. More bits will be added to that chassis over the next five days.
For those of you looking to catch the P3 in action, Proton has prepared a special demo that shows a fully disguised P3 running side-by-side with a Persona on an autocross track showing off its handling prowess and the margins which Proton has improved from the Persona. Bear in mind that the Persona was never found wanting for its driving dynamics, the P3 should prove to be an interesting drive.
From the bits of information made available at the event, the following can be summarized of the P3:
- Price Range: RM62,000 - RM75,000
- Three Model Variants: 1.6 IAFM+ M/T, 1.6 IAFM+ CVT, 1.6 CFE CVT
- All-round disc brakes and independent suspension. MacPherson struts up front. The rear four-point multi-link set up is claimed to be Proton's own design.
- CVT with seven virtual ratios and paddle shifters.
- LED day time running lights.
- Five lug nuts per wheel.
- Push-button ignition.
- Optitron instrument panel with trip computer.
- Signal stalk is on the left, like the Waja.
- ABS, EBD, hydraulic brake assist, and ESP.
- Anti-pinch feature for power windows.
- Grip-type door handle flush with shoulder line.
- Auto-folding side mirrors with integrated signal lamps.
- Door auto lock.
At this stage, we do not know which of the abovementioned features are standard across the range, and which are available only in the high end model. Based on past precedent, we won't be surprised if the final prices will turn out to be lower than Proton's indicative pricing, but we aren't betting on that just yet.
Check out the P3-21A in person at the Proton Power of 1 showcase at Bukit Jalil. Proton Edar staff will be present to accept bookings from interested buyers. Other attractions to watch out for include the Race of Champions this Sunday evening showcasing the skills of motorsports personalities such as Alister McRae, Karamjit Singh, Tengku Djan and even Autoworld's very own YS Khong. Oh, try to park at Car Park A. It's a shorter walk.
Editor's Note (15 Mar 2012, 0915 (GMT +8)): Our earlier release of this article stated that the P3-21A is offered with the CPS and CFE engines. We have since realized that Proton is actually offering the lower-spec IAFM+ engine and not the CPS. The error is regretted, and the article has been corrected to reflect this newer, more updated information.
Further Details: Proton car prices & specifications in Malaysia.