Proton MD Datuk Syed Zainal had a few things to say at a dinner in Hethel today. He and Tun Dr Mahathir are actually in the UK. The ex-premiere had previously visited the Lotus Racing factory and now they are at Group Lotus, where Tun Dr M was briefed on various Lotus projects including the Lotus Range Extender Engine that will make its showcar debut in the Proton Hybrid Concept set to appear in Geneva.
Here are a few details that DSZ revealed:
- The Proton Campro Turbo engine will be available by year-end or latest by early next year, and will be a feature in all Proton’s cars (likely only the larger ones). Looks like it’s on schedule!
- The Lotus Evora will likely be launched in Malaysia by the end of March. Price is unknown yet but it’s still a question mark whether we can expect Malaysia’s tax structure to show mercy to a sports car made by a company owned by Proton. DSZ says Proton is still working with the government on this.
- He declined to reveal any details on a new global strategic partner, but mentioned that discussions not only involved Volkswagen but with Mitsubishi and Renault as well. Proton have worked with both Mitsubishi and Renault before.
Actually if you drop by the COE next to Kesas you can already see an Evora there in the parking lot and it looks pretty good in real life. It’s not pure sex on wheels like a Ferrari but it looks more like a weapon, or at least that’s the impression I got in metal.