Proton unveiled a turbocharged 1.6 litre engine to selected press in Norwich, UK earlier today while our King and Queen His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Wathiqu Billah Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah and Her Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda The Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah were visiting the Lotus headquarters in UK.
The new turbocharged engine is said to have the power capacity of a 2.0 litre engine. No precise figures were given but we can make an educates guess – 2.0 normally aspirated would mean around 140 to 150 horsepower. Usually with a turbocharged engine, a 150 horses figure would probably be accompanied by 220Nm to 240Nm of torque. This should put performance at a similiar level with the turbocharged 1.6 litre in the Peugeot 308 Turbo, which is very nice since the peak torque kicks in at low RPMs.
VIDEO: Bulletin Utama segment on the Proton Turbo engine
70 engineers worked on the engine project. According to Proton, the engine was developed in collaboration between Proton and Lotus Engineering, with active involvement of Malaysian engineers and vendors. I actually so happened to meet a few young Proton engineers at a UK visa application center in KL and they were applying for a UK work visa for a certain project, so this must have been it ;)
Producing the engine took 18 months from approval of engineering proof of concept. The proof of concept could have been that turbocharged engine we saw in the Exora. The engine was designed for high torque applications, which will provide good driveability in larger Proton cars such as the Proton Exora. Proton Director of Engineering Tajul Zahari said the engine is RON95 compatible. Apparently the engine will be ready by 2011, so we should see it in Protons by then.