Malaysian-made saloon will become the first player in the Thai C-segment sector to employ turbo tech
It looks rather good...
Yes, particularly for a car developed by Proton. The Preve you see here is an all-new C-segment saloon that has just been launched in Malaysia and is due to hit Thai showrooms after an outing at this week's Motor Expo.
The Preve will effectively replace the Persona and uses the P2 platform underpinning the Exora mini-MPV. The Preve is basically a larger car than the Persona and boasts a longer (by 50mm) wheelbase, at a competitive 2,650mm.
Note the wedgy styling cues of the Preve which seems to have become the norm for Proton.
But the interior looks a little staid ...
Yeah, but it is here where the Preve boasts features that are still not common in the Thai C-segment sector.
For example, safety items in a top-spec form, called Premium, include front and side airbags, plus traction and stability control systems.
There's even 4G Wi-Fi, though that can be ruled out for Thailand at the moment, as we're still lagging behind on the telecommunications front.
And if you look closely at the Exora-like steering wheel, you'll see paddle-shifters which allow the driver to change gears manually.
What kind of gearbox does the Preve have?
A CVT automatic with seven-speed manual mode _ matching that of the Toyota Corolla 1.8 and 2.0 _ which is hooked up to the 138hp 1.6-litre petrol-turbo, as used in the top-spec Exora.
The Preve is the first brand in the Thai C-segment market to employ turbo tech, (See, even Proton has outraced the conservative Japanese!). The engine's 205Nm of peak torque should prove beneficial in overtaking-power terms. Proton claims a 15.2kpl average when driving at a steady 90kph.
You mean that the non-turbo 1.6 has bitten the dust?
No it hasn't. It will act as the basis for the core-selling Preves in Thailand. The 110hp 1.6-litre may not make headlines. At least, the four-speed automatic has been replaced with a CVT version with six-speed manual mode; it claims to push economising measures up to 17.3kpl when doing the same 90kph cruise.
So it's clear that Proton will use the regular 1.6 to corner most of the market eyed by its obvious rivals, while the tech-savvy turbo seeks to capture that pursued by its 1.8-litre counterparts.
It appears that the Preve is moving upmarket, price wise...
Proton will be revealing prices this Wednesday, so we'll have to wait and see. However, we share your sentiments since the Preve is a bigger car than the Persona with newer tech and more features.
The Preve is most likely to cost in the region of 650,000 baht in its basic form, and 750,000 baht or so for the range-topping variant. Even though that represents a 100,000 baht increase on the Persona, the Preve's prices are still more attractive than those of any of its C-segment rivals in Thailand.
Cool! Will there be a CNG version?
The Preve will only be available with pure petrol power (and E20 compatibility) on launch day. But Proton may take the CNG (compressed natural gas) notion into consideration next year after the business case for the Persona CNG comes to an end.
About the author
- Writer: Richard Leu
Position: Motoring news Editor