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Proton handed over the first batch of its new Proton Perdana cars over to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak today at a ceremony in Putrajaya. The badge on the rear says Perdana and not some other name, making this the second Proton nameplate to get a ‘second generation’ after the Saga.

Just as our previous spyshots of mildly disguised previous-generation Accords being tested indicated, the new Proton Perdana is based on the previous-generation Honda Accord. And like the Accord, the new Proton Perdana is available with either a 2.0 litre and 2.4 litre engine, both sourced from Honda.

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Changes on the front include a new Proton grille and a completely new bumper design. The car also gets a new alloy wheel design. On the rear, we see that the tail lamp elements on the boot lid have been removed, but the chrome that used to run along it at the bottom remains there. This chrome is extended around the sides and bottom of the number plate area.

The big boss man himself gets a stretched version, with the government’s crest in the extended section between the front and rear windows. We wonder what the new wheelbase measurement is.

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The Honda Accord already has a huge interior with lots of rear legroom – this will certainly allow the PM to completely stretch out his legs and relax. The window line is different for the long-wheelbase Perdana – it has a rather Buick-like dip at the rear to allow for a larger rear window.

Previous reports have indicated that this will be the first phase of the Perdana replacement model project, which will consist of 3,000 units for government use. The initial delivery is 200 units, with the remaining to be delivered on a staggered basis. The car obviously has lots of metal that indicates it is an Accord, but it will be developed further for a general market introduction in two years time.

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The mass market car will continue to use this shared platform, but will have a completely new exterior and interior, according to Proton executive chairman Tan Sri Mohd Khamil Jamil. As for this short term solution, it was developed in eight months.

“Even with such short request time, we were up for the challenge – and through sheer dedication and hard work, we are here today to present the completed Perdana. We are truly grateful to the Prime Minister and the Malaysian Government for keeping their faith in Proton, and for giving us the opportunity to once again be the provider of the official government vehicle. I represent all Warga Proton when I say that this moment serves as inspiration and motivation for us to work even harder than ever, to continue leading the national automotive industry,” added Tan Sri Mohd Khamil.