28 March 2011

Persona R (P3-21A) – what we know for now?

Undoubtedly this is one of the most eagerly waited car for Malaysian, aside from new Perodua Myvi. Persona is the “made for the market need” kind of sedan, rather than a compromised Proton model of an old. Thus, typical family man will be interested in this kind of car, a mid-sized sedan with proper 400+ litres of boot space with comfortable, spacious and yet eye-pleasing interior. Good handling will be bonus. If rumours about Proton new engine are to be believed, we are up to a newer engine as well, potentially cleaner, more efficient and better tractability. 
Current Persona model

Various spy shots has been spot lately as opposed to “Exora Penyet” mule which is believed disguised the underfloor of Persona R, with cut and welded Exora body pasted on the top. The clearest spy photos was one snapped by darylloy, published in paultan and funtastickodesign.

Front View

Heavily disguised front end reveals a short, stubby nose, the same concept as Kia Forte, Honda City and the likes. Headlamps and grilles are taped, although their shape and silhouette conform to Proton Tuah concept car. The allegedly leaked headlamps and grill published in funtastickodesign conform to Tuah outline, with difference in inner graphic. While the headlamp looks 2011 enough, the grill harks back to original Waja design, a throwback to last millennium design. All in all, Tuah front design could be representative of Persona R, as can be seen at the meeting point of hood+fender+A-pillar, these two cars are virtually identical.
Two front angle shot of P3-21A

Proton Tuah concept
More after the jump.

Claimed to be P3-21A headlamp

Grill believed to be P3-21A item

Side View
This view shows some differences between Persona R and Tuah. Where Tuah looks long and fluidic, with it arching window line and gently rising belt-lines, the spyshots seems to have different C-pillar treatment as well door aperture design. On Tuah, the rear door window cutout is kind of parallel with C-pillar angle. On the spied car, the door aperture is reversed, a-la Mazda3. However, the tone of the camouflaged reveals that the window line is continuously arch as per Tuah, just the door aperture is changed, maybe for easier entry for passenger.

Rear View
Not much can be seen here apart from both cars share same high-short boot. The boot shutline with the bumper are identical in both car. Rear combi can’t be disguised enough, it looks like a few circular off-the-shelf lorry light fitted just for lighting purposes. Hopefully this can be detected at a later date.

This could be the most wanted photos of all. Can Proton finally ditched is crappy interior image? Just have a look at their recent offering, Persona ( a revised Gen 2 interior) is kind of ok, but its an amalgamation of minimalist sportiness of original Gen2 ( which in turn was modeled against Lotus M250 concept) with a somber Nissan kind of door trim. Overall it is an interior that offend no one, but I bet it excited nobody too. Saga BLM was a total throwback to Korean mid-90s. Just have a look at Myvi, thoroughly 2005 design that still manage to look more modern than year 2008 Saga! Exora shows some attempt, but still its nowhere near Kia/Hyundai/Toyota/Nissan kind of IP,door trim, floor console and interior trim. There’s a resemblance to Korean of an old.

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