Among the morsels of news coming from Proton’s new engine line-up announcement is the confirmation that the upcoming Honda Accord-based Proton Perdana (Theophilus Chin’s renderings shown) will gain Petronas-derived NE01 engines by the end of 2017. These will replace the Honda-derived R20A3 2.0 litre and K24Z2 2.4 litre i-VTEC engines the car will feature from its launch in the first quarter of this year.

This is the first time that the national carmaker has confirmed that the new engine is under development. Like Proton’s upcoming range of new 1.3 and 1.5 litre four-pots, the 2.0 litre engine will likely feature direct-injection and offered in both naturally-aspirated (GDI) and turbocharged (TGDI) forms – both technologies were also procured from Petronas back in 2012.


Given Proton’s determination to stick with CVTs, it’s also possible that the Perdana will receive the new torque converter CVT currently developed in tandem with the new engines, putting to pasture the old Honda five-speed automatic that has been in service for donkey’s years. The drivetrain is rumoured to come from Jatco, after the Japanese CVT specialist erected a booth at the Alami Proton open day last year.

Proton CEO Datuk Abdul Harith Abdullah also said that there was a possibility that the Perdana could use the new 1.5 litre TGDI engine: “yes, that is also a possible option.” He added that the smaller mill in the D-segment sedan would have a similar power-to-weight ratio to the Honda 2.4 litre engine, given that the former’s maximum projected output of 180 hp and 250 Nm is close the latter’s 177 hp and 222 Nm.

So, dear readers, would you get a Proton Perdana with the new, more advanced 2.0 litre direct-injected engines, or stick to Honda’s tried-and-tested powertrains?

GALLERY: 2016 Proton Perdana teased

GALLERY: 2016 Proton Perdana rendered