Apparently Proton is revisiting an old “friend”. Proton was in talks with Rover to supply it with the Proton GEN2 to be rebadged as a Rover to replace the Rover 45, which was at that time a car based on a derivative of the Honda Civic EG (Honda Domani).
We first heard of this in the year 2000, but things only picked up in 2004. In return, Rover would supply Proton with the Rover 75’s platform, which would have been used to produce a Perdana Replacement Model. Towards the end of 2004, it looks like things turned sour and the collaboration was canceled without any fruitful outcome. All they said was the partnership was “not viable”, and that was the end of it.
Now it appears that Proton is once again in talks with Rover, only this time the people doing the talking are their new owners SAIC. According to a source in Proton, things are still at the discussion stage. The deal once again is for the Rover 75 platform (now the Roewe 750) to be used by Proton as a new Perdana replacement car, and in return Proton will allow SAIC to use one of their platforms to badge produce a Roewe.
This could be the GEN2 (which is also sold in China as the Europestar RCR) or even the Proton MPV, as despite there being so many shots of what everyone assumed to be a Roewe MPV out there on the internet (with rear sliding doors), but apparently this has turned out to actually be the Luxgen MPV.
The 2.5 litre KV6 engine from the Rover will also likely be bundled together with the platform. While this is considered by many to be an old engine, SAIC has made some changes to the new rechristened 188 horsepower Roewe KV6 with the help of Ricardo and updated it to Euro 4 standards. A variant of the KV6 is found in the Naza Ria.
So, a Rover Perdana and a Mitsubishi Waja it is? Can’t wait for something concrete.