The identity of the model that will form the basis of the Proton Perdana replacement has been talked about not only at the mamak, but in the motoring circle as well. We’ve heard of this before, but the news is now out. Berita Harian Online reports that the Nissan Fuga will be the Perdana replacement model.
UPDATE: The Honda Accord-based Proton Perdana Replacement Model (PRM) has been spotted on the road, see all the spyshots here.
The Fuga is a large rear-wheel drive sports sedan that is sold as an Infiniti M outside of Japan. It sits on the Skyline platform and BH’s report says that the car will be brought in CBU with 2.5-litre engines. The current gen Fuga 250GT is the 2.5L V6 unit from the VQ HR series with 225 PS and 258 Nm.
However, before you think of another “Inspira style” deal, the report’s source reveals that the first shipment of 150 units will be brought in as official cars for top ranking government officials. We presume that this will phase out the stretched Perdanas that ministers currently use. The Fuga will be used exclusively by the government, although the source added that if Proton gets encouraging market feedback, it will consider sales to the public.
There’s no mention whether the Fuga in question is the muscular bodied latest version that debut in late 2009 or the previous gen car, which still looks handsome today. Also not revealed is Proton’s name for the car and the level of differentiation, which we guess won’t be much other than some badge swapping. And if the Fuga is for high level officials, what will be the replacement for the standard wheelbase Perdana currently in service?
This move marks Proton’s first collaboration with Nissan. Will there be more on the way? The report’s source says that it is possible that some Nissan models will be made at Proton’s Tanjung Malim plant as there’s excess capacity there. This statement however ignores the fact that long time Nissan brand guardian Tan Chong has its own facility in nearby Serendah, which rolls out cars like the Teana, Sylphy and Grand Livina.
The Fuga has plenty of presence in the flesh, and Infinitis have received lots of praise for how they drive in the West – it’s a pity that none of us will experience this, unless you’re a senior government chauffeur! What do you think of this move and the choice of car?