Proton has released a new video featuring the upcoming 2016 Proton Persona. Part of the company’s Safety 360 series, it drives home the car’s passive safety performance ahead of its launch tomorrow.

The two-minute film highlights the Persona’s structure, which utilises hot press formed (HPF) steel, a process that was first used on the Prevé. The heating and subsequent rapid cooling results in high tensile steel, enabling the national carmaker to build stronger, yet lighter cars – the Persona is around 20 kg lighter than the previous car, despite being safer and more sophisticated than before.

Roped in to demonstrate the sheer strength of HPF steel are the bomba boys, who tested their tools – including a sledgehammer, grinder and the jaws of life – on both the high-tensile stuff and regular carbon steel, to great effect. Also shown is a full frontal impact crash test against an elevated structure (likely a trailer) which lets us see the full side profile for the first time. One thing to note is that the wheels here carry a two-tone finish instead of the full grey or silver paint on the final production models.

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The second Proton sedan to be launched this year, the Persona is now open for booking, with an indicative price range of RM47,000 to RM61,000 in Peninsular Malaysia and RM49,000 to RM63,000 in Sabah and Sarawak. The refundable booking fee is RM300.

For that, you’ll get an Iriz-based sedan powered by a 1.6 litre naturally-aspirated VVT engine as the B-segment hatchback, making 107 hp at 5,750 rpm and 150 Nm at 4,000 rpm. The Standard variant gets a choice of either a five-speed manual gearbox or a CVT; all other models (Executive, Premium and Premium SE are the other trim levels) are only available with the CVT.

Active safety kit – including ABS with EBD and brake assist, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Hill Hold Assist (HHA) and Isofix child seat anchors – comes as standard across the range.

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Kit count on the Standard variant includes dual airbags, grey 15-inch turbine design alloy wheels, power-adjustable side mirrors and a single-DIN Bluetooth-enabled radio. Move up to the Executive and one gains body-coloured side mirrors and door handles, front fog lights, a bootlid lip spoiler, a double-DIN head unit, USB charging ports and a 60:40 split-folding rear bench.

At the top of the range, the Premium gains six airbags, silver wheels, black B-pillar trim, power-folding side mirrors, keyless entry, push-button start, an Android-based touchscreen infotainment system with navigation and a reverse camera and leather upholstery. Premium SE adds on a dual-tone bodykit.

Buyers can choose from six colours – Cotton White, Fire Red, Sterling Silver, Graphite Grey, Quartz Black and a new colour for the carmaker, Carnelian Brown, which is the hero colour for the second-gen Persona. Proton is offering three years free service (parts and labour included) for bookings made by September 30.

We’ve driven the new Persona – read our first impressions test drive report to learn more.

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