We just got back from the launch of the facelifted Proton Persona, which is officially called the Proton Persona Elegance. Available in three trim levels – Base Line, Medium Line and High Line – the Persona Elegance is powered by the familiar 1.6-litre Campro IAFM engine with 110 bhp at 6,500 rpm and 148 Nm of torque from 4000 rpm. Buyers can choose between a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual, but the High Line model only comes with the auto ‘box.
Although output remains, the Campro IAFM in the Persona Elegance comes with a new 32 bit ECU from Continental, which also supplied the previous 16 bit version. According to a Proton source, the new 32 bit ECU has more capabilities compared to the older 16 bit version – capable of more inputs, you can configure more parameters, and it can also interconnect with more systems such as “talking” to a Body Control Module such as the one in the Exora.
It is more of a future-proofing and cost-effectiveness move. Torque and power output remains the same as before. Firstly, Siemens VDO have been moving their global ECU manufacturing to 32 bit being the minimum, so it is not feasible for Proton to continue ordering 16 bit ECUs when the 32 bit version can be had at a far more competitive price. This move is also in preparation for the new Project Phoenix engine that we will soon see in Protons, which will require the capabilities of the new ECU.
UPDATE: Since we first published this article we’ve received more information on the new Persona Elegance. The changes go beyond just an aesthetic make-over. We already know there’s a new bodykit, front grille, bumpers and new LED tail lamps. But beyond that, here’s what’s different:
- The seat backrest angle has been changed to offer better comfort.
- Extra soundproofing material has been added to pillars to improve interior NVH.
- Despite power output and torque being the same, a source has indicated that the engine should feel livelier and more responsive. We’ll try to get an initial impression from the showrooms over this weekend.
The original story continues below…
There are a couple of changes to the exterior. As all of you already know from our previous reveals, the Persona Elegance comes with a new rear lamp cluster, now with LED brake lights. The nine LEDs are arranged in two rows – four up and five down. All trims except for the Base Line come with a bodykit, slim rear spoiler and foglamps, although the turning lamps on the side mirrors (illuminates in a cool light bar form) and chrome door handles are standard across the board.
Up front, the facelifted Persona uses the same nose as the Gen 2 CPS along with its “black out” headlamp housing, but with a different grille design. The Proton logo and its “wings” is pushed up to the top of the grille while the Gen 2 CPS has a central emblem. The 15-inch rim design is also new, although the 195/60 size of the tyres are unchanged. As before, the Base Line makes do with steel rims and hubcaps.
Inside, the most apparent change is the replacement of the previous custom designed audio head unit for a conventional single-DIN unit, once again by Blaupunkt. The USB compatible unit should be easier to operate than before with minimal and large buttons, and all trims but the Base Line get steering wheel controls. The meter cluster graphics are also new, now with white numbering and red needles plus a red inner ring, much more “premium looking” than the plain orange dials used before. Proton also says that the angle of rear seat has been changed for improved comfort.
Medium and High Line cars get a GPS navigation set stuck on the windscreen, driver’s seat height adjuster and electric side mirrors. Only the High Line gets leather seats and trim (Base and Medium Line sports a new fabric material), cruise control and remote release for the trunk.
Safety kit wise, the High Line comes with ABS and EBD, two airbags and two pre-tensioner seatblets. Out of this, the Medium Line only gets a driver’s airbag and pre-tensioner seatbelt, while the Base Line gets none of the above.
Here is the price list for the Persona Elegance:
Base Line (M) RM46,499
Base Line (A) RM49,499
Medium Line (M) RM52,999
Medium Line (A) RM55,999
High Line (A) RM59,499
Proton’s latest is available in two new colours – Chiffon Green and Bronze Garnet – in addition to silver and black. Brilliant Red is a colour exclusive to the High Line. Now in showrooms and ready for booking, the Persona Elegance comes with a 2-year/50,000 km manufacturer’s warranty plus a 3-year/125,000 km extended warranty programme – that’s a total of 5 years.
Proton Persona Elegance live images from the launch
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Proton Persona Elegance studio images
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