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This one came as a surprise, all right. Simply called the Proton Pick-up Concept, this bizarre design study is now on display at the Proton Styling Studio, which is currently open to the public as part of this weekend’s Alami Proton event. Until we broke the news yesterday, we bet no one would have expected this, right?

The Ford F-150 Raptor-inspired front end is attached to the body of what is undoubtedly a Proton Exora MPV. What gave it away? Just take a look at the familiar A-pillar and front doors. If that’s not telling enough, a peek through the darkened windows reveals an Exora dashboard.

Nevermind that, the entire front fascia has been reworked to incorporate a gaping grille with honeycomb-like elements. Within said assembly, a thick silver bar spans the entire length of the front, with thin strips of LEDs embedded at each end. As far as trucks go, this is as distinctive as it gets.

Round the back, the Proton Pick-up Concept has a high-ish and short truck bed – similar in profile to the Ssangyong Actyon Sports. Nothing familiar about the styling, however, with tiny little brake lights housed within thick dark grey mouldings that wrap around the rear tailgate. No one is going to miss what make this is, that’s for sure.

There’s no word yet on whether this is purely a design study, or if there are any plans to bring such a vehicle into production. Proton has once managed to develop and market a pick-up vehicle based on an existing model – the Wira-based Arena – so perhaps the idea of a pick-up truck built on the Exora platform isn’t such a far fetched idea after all.

It’s worth mentioning that while most pick-ups are built on a ladder-frame chassis, monocoque-based trucks – which this one will be, if based on the Exora – do exist, albeit sparsely, such as the Honda Ridgeline and Australia’s low-riding utes. A front-wheel drive truck is more than a little unconventional, though.

When asked why Proton decided to make a pick-up concept, Proton’s Head of Design Azlan Othman told us that “it’s very simple. Looking at how successful the Jumbuck (the Arena in Australia) was, there’s no reason for us not to look at segments where we were once profitable.” Do note, though, that no real decision has been made regarding its production feasibility just yet.

In any case, do tell us what you think of the Proton Pick-up Concept. Love it, hate it, want it, do make yourself heard in the comments section below.