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Proton sedan, hatchback and MPV. Check, check and check. The local carmaker even has multiple entries of each body type, in fact. Count it – it has four sedans (Saga, Persona, Preve and Perdana), two hatchbacks (Iriz and Suprima S) and two MPVs (Exora and the upcoming Ertiga). What’s next? A Proton SUV.

Yes, you read that right. We’ve just been informed by a high-ranking Proton official that the company is indeed considering a new SUV model for 2017. Seeing its active technical collaborations with Japanese carmaker Suzuki (the Ertiga is a Suzuki-sourced model), it wouldn’t be too far a guess to speculate that the new SUV could be based on an existing Suzuki model.

So the next question is, which Suzuki model will it be? Two possibilities immediately come to mind: the smaller Vitara Brezza or the larger, more sophisticated Vitara. We can’t tell which one it is just yet, but seeing as the former is a budget, built-to-a-price offering predominantly designed for the Indian market (it’s a Maruti Suzuki), a Proton SUV based on the latter does sound more likely.

Proton Suzuki Vitara Brezza 3

The engine options available also point towards the bigger Vitara model. While the Vitara Brezza has a sole 90 PS/200 Nm 1.3 litre DDiS turbodiesel engine with a manual-only transmission, the proper Vitara has a 118 hp/156 Nm 1.6 litre petrol engine mated to a six-speed automatic. No brainer which one will be more marketable in Malaysia.

There is also a Vitara S offered in certain European markets, powered by a 1.4 litre Boosterjet direct-injection turbocharged engine that makes 140 PS and 220 Nm of torque, also with a six-speed auto. Still, the 1.6 NA appears more likely, at least initially.

Local automotive renderer Theophilus Chin has actually imagined Proton-badged versions of both Suzuki Vitara models before, as you can see in the images here.

What do you think of this, folks? Do bear in mind that nothing is set in stone just yet, but the idea of a Proton SUV is pretty damn exciting, isn’t it? Let us know your thoughts below.

GALLERY: Proton-badged Suzuki Vitara by Theophilus Chin


GALLERY: Suzuki Vitara
GALLERY: Proton-badged Suzuki Vitara Brezza by Theophilus Chin
GALLERY: Suzuki Vitara Brezza