As the ‘father of Proton’, its only right that Tun Dr Mahathir’s brainchild occasionally updates him on the progress of the company from time to time. Tun Dr Mahathir probably gets to see lots of stuff happening behind the scenes that will only come to our knowledge months or years later, but thankfully for us he blogs so sometimes we get juicy bits of information.
The ex-PM was in Europe lately visiting a few Malaysian-related ventures such as Tony Fernandes’s Lotus Racing, the Lotus Factory, a Petronas-owned lubricant plant and finally Italdesign Giugiaro, the Italian design firm that has had a hand at developing the new Proton concept cars that will be unveiled at Geneva in just a few hours time.
According to Dr M, Italdesign-Giugiaro was developing a new small car (likely based on the Proton concept to be unveiled today) and an all-new Proton Persona. About 20 Malaysian designers and engineers are currently there to work on the projects with the Italdesign consultancy. Man, I wish I was there to see what was being worked on!
He also managed to test drive a turbocharged Proton Exora, the Tesla Roadster and the Lotus Evora. It looks like the Exora Turbo is ready to be driven. It was also revealed in December 2009 by Datuk Syed Zainal himself that there are some Proton Exora Hybrid prototypes running around in Lotus UK, using technology developed in collaboration with Lotus and various hybrid-related component suppliers like battery manufacturers. At that time, DSZ said the hybrid Exoras would be shipped to Malaysia for further testing latest by early 2010. But there was no mention of these Exora hybrids by Tun Dr M.
Read Tun Dr M’s full blog post here. Stay tuned for more updates from Geneva from this blog where two Malaysian-based car manufacturers would be showcasing their latest – Bufori and Proton.