The Proton Persona is largely similar to the Proton Gen-2 hatchback, with an added boot, slightly extended roof-line and higher profile tyres.
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Engine||1.6 L Campro I4|
|Wheelbase||2,600 mm (102.4 in)|
|Length||4,477 mm (176.3 in)|
|Width||1,725 mm (67.9 in)|
|Height||1,438 mm (56.6 in)|
|Curb weight||1,170 kg (2,579.4 lb) - 1,195 kg (2,634.5 lb)|
The Proton Persona is a compact car introduced by PROTON in 2007 for the same model year. Being an in-house design by Azlan Othman, the Persona replaced the saloon variant of the successful Proton Wira, whose export name is not confused with this model's same name, as Proton's compact car.
It is available as a sedan and is based upon the platform also shared with the Proton Gen-2 and the Proton Satria Neo. Also available is a Special Edition variant. All Personas are currently manufactured at Proton's Tanjung Malim plant in Tanjung Malim, Perak.
The Proton Persona is essentially a saloon based on the Gen-2 hatchback introduced in 2004, and inherits the Persona name from rebadged Wiras sold in certain countries. It addresses several main flaws of the Gen-2, although the Gen-2 itself remains in sale.
The most noticeable difference of the Persona from the Gen-2 is the a separate, larger boot, making it better suited to the local market, as Malaysians prefer saloons. More importantly, the roofline slopes less, addressing the many complaints on the lack of rear headroom.
The interior was redesigned to incorporate a glovebox at the dashboard, an accessory that was not available in the Gen-2. The obtrusive analog clock present in the Gen-2's dashboard has also been replaced by a digital one that now resides in the digital display on the instrument panel. In addition, the door trims and panels were modified to feature more ergonomic window switches and door handles, and the pseudo-racing seats were replaced by more conventional and comfortable ones. Fit and finish is noticeably improved a lot and so are the suspension setting as well because it is tuned more to comfort.
A revised version of the Gen-2 launched on March 3, 2008 also incorporates the interior trims of the Persona.
The 1.6 litre Campro engine in the Persona is the same 82 kW (110 hp) unit used in other Proton models but with an improved cast aluminum oil pan design that reduces the chances of damage. A transmission control unit re-calibration on models with automatic transmissions reduces the hunting of gears and improves gear changes in an attempt to mask the dip in the torque curve in the lower and middle rev ranges. It has been announced that in early 2008 the Persona will be equipped with new Campro engines that incorporate a new variable-geometry intake manifold module (Campro IAFM engine) which improves low-end torque and high-rev breathing.
- 2008: A variable-geometry intake manifold-equipped Campro IAFM engine is introduced on all trim levels of the Persona. All Proton badges now bear the black and silver, rather than a blue and gold. Also, the Proton Persona SE was added to the lineup on 26 August 2008. It was created with help of feedback from Persona buyers. The Proton Persona SE has a bodykit, different alloy wheels, matte silver door handles and front grille, a leather interior and a GPS navigation system mounted on the windshield, which can be used by SD cards. Its available colors include Blue Haze and Brilliant Red.
- 2009: There are no changes, although the bottom part of the vehicle license plate bears the text "2008 Best Model of the Year by Frost & Sullivan", replacing the previous "Our Pride and Joy" tagline.
- 2010: The Persona given a facelift under the name Proton Persona Elegance on 18 March 2010. It features new headlamps, front grille, front and rear bumper, bodykit, and LED tail lamps. The Campro IAFM engine's power output remains but it uses a completely new 32 bit ECU from Continental's VDO division.
With a more attractive price tag that ranges from RM44,999 to RM55,800 (about RM10,000 cheaper than the equivalent Gen-2), demand of the Persona continues to outstrip supply. Over 2,000 pre-launch bookings were made. Within two weeks after launch, the figure increased to 11,000 bookings. Demand hit close to 19,000 bookings barely 2 weeks later. Originally intending to produce Personas at a rate of 4,000 cars per month, Proton has pledged to ramp up the production to 8,000 units per month to meet the unforeseen demand.
As a result of the Persona's debut, sales for the Proton Waja and the Proton Gen-2 significantly slowed down, causing Proton dealers to offer large amounts of discounts up to RM 9,000 to sell off the remaining models of Waja and Gen-2. This has been somewhat offset by the release of the new CPS engine in the Waja and Gen-2, which attempts to place the latter two models in a slightly higher market segment.
On 10 March 2008, Proton UK announced the new addition of the Proton Persona sedan to the British market, which is known as the Proton Gen-2 Persona, while the Personas sold in other countries (such as Singapore and Australia) retain the name Persona. Besides the United Kingdom, Proton also uses the Gen-2 Persona name for the Indonesian market, and had also been launched in Saudi Arabia on November 22, 2008 and in Egypt on November 24; the Gen2 model was also jointly launched in Egypt.
While officially marketed in the UK, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders sales figures for 2008 revealed only 4 units of the Persona were sold in that year, ranking the car as one of the least sold car models in the country in 2008.
During the 2008 Asian Auto - Bosch Fuel Efficiency Awards, the Proton Persona won the first place of the Family Car category, with the reported average fuel consumption of 6.8 L/100 km (42 mpg-imp; 35 mpg-US). It also won the 2008 Frost & Sullivan Best Model of the Year.
Proton Persona R
On November 9, 2009, the Italian design company Italdesign-Giugiaro has been contracted to develop a C-segment sedan that will meet tougher European and North American standards, as well as possibly utilizing Proton Exora's platform.
It appeared as the Proton Tuah concept in the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show 2010. In March 2011, it has been spotted several times on the road. A picture of the final build was later uploaded to the internet.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 YS Khong (2008-08-26). "Persona SE (Special Edition) Launched By Proton". Auto World. http://www.autoworld.com.my/emzine/review/viewarticle.asp?awReviewId=2440&awCatId=RT.ATC.CAR.PV. Retrieved 2009-05-13.
- ↑ Tan, Danny (2010-03-18). "Proton Persona Elegance facelift officially launched". Paultan.org. http://paultan.org/2010/03/18/proton-persona-elegance-facelift-officially-launched/. Retrieved 2010-10-12.
- ↑ Persona kembalikan gemilang Utusan Malaysia, 16 August 2007.
- ↑ Proton Cars (UK) announce new addition to GEN-2 range - from Proton UK official website.
- ↑ Persona Debuts in Indonesia - from Proton's official website
- ↑ "Proton launches persona in saudi and egypt". Official Proton website. November 24, 2008. http://www.proton.com/about_proton/press/full_details.php?intArticleID=266.
- ↑ Mike Rutherford (March 13, 2009). "The cars that nobody wants". Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/columnists/mike-rutherford/4985238/The-cars-that-nobody-wants.html.
- ↑ Mike Rutherford; Daily Telegraph (March 13, 2009). "Proton on list of cars that nobody wants". Malaysian Insider. http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/features/20340-proton-on-list-of-cars-that-nobody-wants.
- ↑ Asian Auto-BOSCH Fuel Efficiency Awards 2008 Vehicle Winners - Asian Auto. Retrieved 24 December 2008.
- ↑ Template:Dead link