Much has been said about the new Proton Perdana. It has been an ill-fated project since the mid of last decade and until today it is yet (albeit assumed nearly) to materialize. The original model was introduced back in 1995 to provide an upgraded mobility for the Malaysia aspire to own the stuff like Honda Accord. Things soared to a great success back then with many, many unit sold.
As I recalled, Proton glory days then are over. So are all the mega car plan. The earlier effort was in tandem with the defunct Proton MSX, but canned indefinitely The the resurrection plan was announced to the public with the old bed-partner Mitsubishi Galant and finally there was a hurrah on Nissan Fuga too. Volkswagen Passat was also mentioned somewhere somehow in between. Then Proton shocked everyone by announcing Honda deals, and Perdana-badged on a generation-old Honda Accord soon hits the (government) street.
For the civilian model, Proton said they have re-designed the car in total. How total is that remains to be seen. But judging from this latest spy photos, the changes are quite there.
Comparing it with the 2008 Honda Accord, it can be seen the design lineage is still there. Look at the A-pillar shape and its angle together with the front door cut-out, the car is still visibly carrying large chunk of Accord chassis there. The location of door outside handle, for both front and rear too mimics the positioning on its older Japanese brother. Ditto for the metal trailing edge of the rear door. However the rear door top opening possibly has been altered, together with the redesigning of the C-pillar. The whole rear appears longer then the donor car.
I am not sure if Proton still lengthen the car still, as the old Accord is pretty much "whale-like" already at 4,940mm. Inching to 5m magical mark won't be a case more than extra stroke of styling lines.
The front area will no doubt features Proton trade-mark fascia of wing-like grille ornaments with headlight fixed on the same similar like. Whether it is going to be elaborated like Iriz or subtle like Preve remains to be seen.
The rear end is described by someone who has seen it as "has a hint of Jaguar". However, I take it as layman description as there is a similarity in Proton Preve rear fascia with the current crops of Jaguar too.
Powertrain-wise, do expect Honda powerplant to stay on. If miracle happens, the Malaysia-design Petronas engine could make it appearance. But since the NE01 is yet to make it launch in its intended market, don't hope too much.
In one of the interview with Paultan, Tun Mahathir says “For high end cars – Nissan has Infiniti, Toyota has Lexus. The Perdana will be our high end car". High expectation indeed.