At the press conference of Proton’s new engine range announcement, Proton CEO Datuk Abdul Harith Abdullah also confirmed that the next Proton Saga will be positioned closer to the A-segment, bringing it more in line with other such sedans sold elsewhere in the world like the Honda Brio Amaze, Toyota Etios, Hyundai Xcent and Ford Figo Aspire. Does a move to the global market beckon?

The current car is marketed more as a budget B-segment sedan with value-added features taking precedence over higher-quality trim, materials and gadgets. The repositioning would perhaps enable the Saga to be even more affordable, with a more competitive pricing structure.

The move is said to be part of a larger effort to streamline Proton’s slightly confusing model range, with the upcoming lineup being wider in spread to promote a clearer separation between the models – and, we presume, to prevent Persona buyers from cross-shopping with the cheaper Saga, for instance.


Harith also said that the Saga is a likely recipient of Proton’s upcoming three-cylinder VVT engines, displacing 1.0 litres and 1.2 litres. “In the future, the Proton Saga will be moved to the A-segment, or A+ segment, so the 1.0 litre engine would be suitable for that application,” he said, adding that the company is also at work on a turbocharged version of the 1.0 litre mill.

Do note, however, that the new engines are not due to enter production before the end of 2017, so the upcoming 2016 Saga, to be launched later this year, could either use the 1.3 litre VVT engine from the Iriz or soldier on with the 1.3 litre IAFM+ mill from the current Saga.

On the other hand, when quizzed on the future of the existing CamPro engines, Harith said that for certain markets, where emissions and fuel economy requirements are not as tight, Proton may continue using the older, cheaper powertrains. So question is this – would you pay extra for a more advanced engine in the next Saga?

SPYSHOTS: 2016 Proton Saga