5-door hatchback (or liftback saloon)
|Wheelbase||2,600 mm (102.4 in)|
|Curb weight||980 kg (2,160.5 lb) - 1,011 kg (2,228.9 lb)|
The Proton Wira was a car manufactured by Malaysian carmaker PROTON, released as a four-door saloon and four-door hatchback in 1993. The Wira was intended as a newer alternative to the Proton Saga Iswara, a face-lifted version of PROTON's first model, the Proton Saga, as a flagship compact model for PROTON. The Saga continued to receive minor updates until 2008, when a second generation Saga was introduced as a sub-compact model, instead.
The Wira was to be replaced by two similar in-house designed PROTON cars: The Proton Gen-2 (launched in 2004 to replace the "Aeroback" hatchback variant) and the Proton Persona (launched in 2007 to replace the saloon variant). The Proton Waja, a saloon compact, was also launched in 2001 as an earlier successor to the Wira saloon, but currently caters slightly towards more upmarket demand, below the Proton Perdana.
Wira is a Malay word that translates into English as "Hero".
The Wira was introduced in 1993 as a 4-door saloon and was based on the shared 1992 CB2A–CB4A-CD9A platform with Mitsubishi Lancer, but the styling was slightly modified to distinguish it from the Lancer. Modifications include headlights from the 1992 Mitsubishi Colt, taillights from the 1987 Mitsubishi Galant hatchback, bumpers from the Mitsubishi Mirage and a different dashboard. The frontal design continues the styling first shown in the Proton Iswara with a fluted bonnet that tapers towards the PROTON badge on the grill. In 1994, a 5-door hatchback version (initially badged as the Wira Aeroback, in a similar fashion as the 5-door Saga hatchback) was introduced.
PROTON was originally in the works of a little-known 5-door estate variant of the Wira during the mid-1990s, basing the car on the saloon Wira and sporting similar taillights as the first face-lifted Wira.Template:Citation needed This revelation came to light roughly the same time following the publishing of a photograph in a local newspaper, depicting an abandoned estate Wira prototype outside PROTON's assembly plant in Shah Alam.Template:Citation needed As little news was available on the car thereafter, however, the proposed model is presumed to have never ventured beyond conceptual stages.Template:Citation needed
A minor facelift for all new Wira variants was introduced in 1995 with a new grille and slimmer tail lights with clear indicators. Other minor changes were made on the interior, grille design and bumpers during the late-1990s and mid-2000s. While having undergone three minor reiterations, the general design of the Wira has, for more than a decade, remained mostly the same.
In 2004, PROTON introduce the Wira Special Edition or known as WiSE, and planned to manufacture an estimated 100,000 units but failed to meet sales target.
The WiSE models were released in different periods of the Wira's lifecycle as the Aeroback variant, with sportier accessories such as full bodykits, redesigned interiors and an option for an aluminium spoiler. Later that year, all the Wira and Satria variants included the same front bumper as the WiSE.
Several PROTON models released following the Wira's debut sported frontal stylings that were derivatives of the Wira's. Among them, the original Satria 3-door hatchback, the Putra 2-door "sports" coupé, and the Arena coupe utility.
In an attempt to find a suitable successor to the Wira, the Gen-2, a hatchback codenamed the Wira Replacement Model, was designed and developed in-house by PROTON, and was launched in 2004. In August 2007, the Persona, a new sedan model directly based on the Gen•2, was introduced. Its introduction is seen as a legitimate replacement for the Proton Wira range.
In its first series, a 1.3-litre 12-valve engine was available on basic-specification Proton Wiras. The Mitsubishi 4G15 1.5-litre 12-valve engine used in the Iswara and its predecessor the Saga was carried over unchanged. The Mitsubishi 4G92 113 PS (83 kW; 111 hp) 1.6L 16-valve SOHC engine with multi-point fuel injection was introduced together with an optional 4-speed automatic transmission (and power windows for all 4 doors), a first in Proton's history. The multi-point injection versions were badged as MPi, although this was only used on the engine, and never on the trim levels (unlike 1.5 MPi GLS in the previous car, the Saga, the trim levels were simply 1.5 GLS etc.).
In 1995, the Mitsubishi 4G13 1.3-litre 12-valve engine also used in the Saga was introduced for the Wira. This was followed in 1996 by the 133 bhp (99 kW) 1.8L 16-valve DOHC engine with multi-point fuel injection, making Wira a first PROTON car to be powered by a DOHC engine. At the same time, a 2.0-litre diesel-powered variant (badged as the 2.0D, or the SDi in some markets) was also offered but was later phased out in later years due to lack of interest from consumers. The diesel-powered Wira is to date the only diesel vehicle produced by PROTON. From 1999, all engine options for the Wira in Malaysian market were fuel-injected and carbureted models were phased out.
In 2001 the Wira received suspension tuning from Lotus.
Like most other PROTON cars of its time, the Proton Wira did not offer any safety features other than the standard three-point safety belts with pretensioners and laminated windshield. Export models however saw a much better build quality with safety features such as a driver-side airbag, door intrusion bars and ABS, which were also available as options in the later Malaysian models.
In 1994, exports to the United Kingdom began where it was marketed as the Proton Persona (not to be confused with the latest 2007 sedan model by PROTON). As with the Saga, all export models used multi-point fuel injection to comply with the Euro I emissions standards. The UK market also had a turbo diesel engine in the range, called TDi. In 2001, the Wira name was finally used in the United Kingdom, replacing the Persona name. The Wira was subsequently replaced by the Proton Impian (known in Malaysia as the Waja) in 2002.