During the launch of the Proton Saga facelift in August 2019, the national carmaker revealed its product launch strategy, which would see one new model be introduced every year. Since then, we’ve already welcomed the X50 in 2020, so if the company keeps to its game plan, what should we look forward to this year?

Referring to the presentation slide shown at the time, 2021 should see the arrival of a new Proton sedan, although the company has yet to provide any preliminary details, including what segment such a model will occupy.

Based on the state of the current line-up, our guess is a C-segment sedan, an area where Proton currently has nothing to offer. The company has offered C-segment sedans before, with the Preve being the most recent model occupying the slot, and before that, we had the Inspira and Waja.

So, why a C-segment sedan? One reason is its broader appeal to buyers compared to something made for the ailing D-segment sedan market, as the sales results for the Honda Civic and Accord show. If that’s the case, why not a new B-segment sedan to replace the Persona? Well, seeing how the company is prepping to introduce a facelift for the Persona (and Iriz), that’s highly unlikely.

Unofficially, the new Proton sedan is being referred to as the S50, so what would a Preve successor look like? Thankfully, rendering wiz Theophilus Chin has conjured up some renders to answer that exact question. The rendering wiz previously imagined a successor for the original Proton Suprima S – the Preve’s hatchback sibling – which he called the H50.

As with those renders, the S50 he created is based on the Ford Focus Mk4, albeit the sedan version this time. From that base, plenty of elements from the X50 are integrated, with the most notable being the SUV’s front end.

Highlights include the angular headlamps and DRLs, an X-style lower apron to separate the side fog lamps sections and lower intake, and of course, the company’s signature Infinite Weave grille. As for the rear, the X50’s taillights are instantly recognisable, as is the trim piece linking them with the Proton script.

Looks striking, doesn’t it? Of course, it has been heavily rumoured that the S50 will be based on the Geely Binrui, which uses the same same B-segment Modular Architecture (BMA) as the X50. As such, these renders, while attractive, will likely differ heavily from the finished product.

There’s some sense to Proton adapting the Binrui, as it would make tooling the Tanjung Malim plant, which already makes the BMA-based X50, easier and amortise the cost. If this turns out to be true, the S50 could receive a 1.5 litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine like the X50.