Proton BLM Build Teaser
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I was at the entrance of Cineleisure Mutiara Damansara this evening to watch Proton’s step by step build up teaser for the new Proton Saga replacement model, codenamed the Proton BLM. It was quite an interesting experience.

By the time I arrived the build up had already begun. There was a huge crowd around the demonstration area even though it was raining. I am guessing a baseline car such as the BLM is truly a car everyone has an interest or “stake” in, as potential owners could be any one of us – either for ourselves, our spouses or our children, etc.

The frame you see in these photos is not the actual frame of a car but a special frame prepared by the prototype shop for this teaser demonstration purpose – hence it does not have a roof. The real full monocoque frame will have the roof structure attached to it. The segments painted with yellow in the frame are specific to the crash performance of the car – these were either crumple zones or areas that absorb most of the collision energy.

The Proton assembly engineers did some work on the bare frame, starting off with things like the wheels and the handbrake lever. By the end of the day the result is what you see in these photos. The next build up date is on the 11th of January 2008 at 8pm where more stuff will be added on to the car.

Some details on the specifications of the car is revealed from the frame. We can see the design of the 14 inch alloy wheels which have Silverstone 185/60R14 tyres wrapping them. We can also see the design of the rear suspension which is of a torsion beam setup, similiar to the Proton Savvy. This is natural as the Proton BLM is essentially built on a stretched Proton Savvy platform. The compact design of a torsion beam rear suspension will benefit the boot space – a Proton staff at the teaser demo told me the boot capacity will be in the regions of more than 400 litres.

The Proton BLM will have a wheelbase of 2465mm, which is 70mm longer than the Proton Savvy’s because of the extended platform. The car is 4257mm long. Width has also been increased to 1680mm not inclusive of wing mirrors, compared to the Perodua Myvi’s 1665mm and the Viva’s 1475mm. Front and rear track is 1446mm, 26mm wider than the Savvy’s.

We also got to see the new 1.3 litre Campro engine with the IAFM module in the engine bay of the frame – in this car it was mated to a 5-speed manual transmission, but the driveshafts were not connected to the front wheels. The IAFM module is essentially a variable intake geometry system.

No official specs on the engine at the moment, but Proton managing director Syed Zainal himself noted that he had personally test driven the car and throttle response was quite spritely, unlike the lethargic feeling you get at low revs with the original Campro engine.

With all the leaked information, photos and spyshots of the Proton BLM all over the internet, how the new IAFM-equipped Campro engine drives is perhaps the car’s best guarded secret, and one of the most important things about the car.

Proton also aims to sell between 4,500 to 5,000 units of the new Proton BLM every month. The Proton BLM will be launched on the 18th of January 2007. 3,000 bookings for the car have been made since bookings opened on the 1st this month.

More parts will be added to the build-up demo frame on the 11th of January 2008 at 8pm, so expect another update after that time!

All photos from the build-up session with more detail as well as a price list after the jump.

Proton BLM Tentative Pricelist
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Click the above pricelist to enlarge it. It shows the various Proton BLM variants, which right now consist of the N-Line, B-Line and the M-Line as well as tentative prices.

Proton BLM Build Teaser
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An assembly line engineer fitting on the 7-spoke 14 inch alloy wheels. 14 inchers means less tyre replacement cost, and some fuel economy improvements as its logical for a 14 inch wheel and tyre to be lighter than larger ones.

Proton BLM Build Teaser
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This photo is specially for certain readers – it shows Proton did not just weld on a butt to the Savvy platform, but properly re-engineered it. According to a Proton engineer, the Proton BLM has been designed to accomodate an NGV system for taxi usage without compromising too much boot space.

Proton BLM Build Teaser
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Fitting the handbrake lever – nothing funky here, no pirate sword style etc.

Proton BLM Build Teaser
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In the engine bay of the Proton BLM sits the new 1.3 litre Campro engine with IAFM variable intake geometry.

Proton BLM Build Teaser
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The front suspension uses the usual McPherson struts, and the front wheels have disc brakes.

Proton BLM Build Teaser
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The rear suspension uses a torsion beam setup, and its drum brakes for the rear wheels.

Proton BLM Build Teaser
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Proton BLM Build Teaser
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Proton BLM Build Teaser
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Proton BLM Build Teaser
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Proton BLM Build Teaser
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Proton BLM Build Teaser
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Proton BLM Build Teaser
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Proton BLM Build Teaser
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