The sohu source seems quite certain that this is a Proton/Europestar car. One possibility that I can think of is this could be a Chinese market only car that Proton, Lotus and Europestar are working on together.
UPDATE: Thanks to all readers that pointed this out – this is a restyled Proton GEN2 for Europestar. More updates later – Source
A Brazilian automotive website has pointed to a set of photos on leading Chinese auto website auto.sohu.com that claim to feature Proton’s new Perdana-replacement sedan. The sedan is taped up but the design of the headlamp, grille, tail lamps and etc can clearly be seen. The taped up badge on the front kinda looks like Proton’s. It’s definitely not a Roewe badge as their badge is a little square-jawed at the bottom.
Remember a piece of news this blog carried back in January and then April 2009? It was mentioned that Proton was considering a new Perdana replacement based on the Rover 75 platform, amongst others. Proton have been toying with a few ideas for a Perdana replacement actually. A Mitsubishi 380 with Proton badges is a common sight in the Centre of Excellence car park and photos of that have been circulating around the internet for very long now. There was also talk of using an old Passat platform during the Volkswagen courtship days.
It’s very much just speculation for now but the Proton-Rover connection has been around for many many years, even before SAIC came into the picture by buying up the British company. Rover had originally wanted to license the Proton GEN2 to produce a new Rover 45 and in return the 75 would be used by Proton to make a new Perdana. The Rover 45 was always a ‘rebadge’ car for Rover, even before it was called the 45 (it was originally called the 400 series). The 1999 car was based on a Honda Civic and the ones before it were based on Hondas.
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As for the engine under the hood of a new Rover-dana, the platform could come with a new redesigned KV6 engine, if Proton does not decide to put its own Campro Turbo engine inside. You may not know it but the KV6 is familiar to many Malaysians already, it is actually the engine used in the 2.5 litre quad cam Naza Ria. It was also used in V6 first generation Freelanders. SAIC has updated the KV6 and now calls it the Roewe KV6. It now makes 188 horses, up from the original 175 horses figure. Roewe also sells the car with a turbocharged 1.8 litre K-Series inline-4.