26 July 2011

Proton P3-21A chassis - preliminary design analysis

Yesterday, Proton sort of celebrate the first body of their latest baby, P3-21A, or more fondly known as Persona R by the public. The chassis that was shown comprises of floor panel, dash panel, side structure, front side member, roof assembly as well as rear end structure. The missing of fender and other closures item (hood, door and trunk lid) prevented us from speculating how the actual car looks like. However, some of design intent can be clearly seen, such as stubby notchback stance, kinked rear side glass and shape of rear combi housing, which disturbingly bear more than passing resemblance to outgoing Mazda 3.
Note the housing shape for rear light and door cutout

Continue after the jump.

The rear light shape of Tuah shares some cues from P3-21A side structure shape

Have a close at the this outgoing Mazda 3, the rear profile, bootlid shape and door frame looks so intensely similar to Proton body. Proton starts looking for inspiration from Mazda 3?

This is not entirely wrong conjecture. If you look at Proton Inspira, the rear bumper garnish ( black cladding part at lower bumper) seems to be so close to current Mazda design language.

Note the black cladding at the bumper bottom part

Mazda3 1.6 also have the same thing, also features on Mazda 5 

Exora Turbo seems to have those too, beneath those black plastic tape
Now look at the bottom of P3-21A bumper, see something?
But anyway, there's nothing wrong with being 'inspired' by Japanase marque that is so synonymous with good-looking car nowadays. Anyhow, these are pure conclusion based on bare body, so I might be chatting bollocks here. Once the real car is out, then can we judge!

Anyway, one more photos from yesterday event.

From here, the truncated tail can be clearly seen. Although the flowing, arch-like roofline is pure Tuah, the rear end has been somewhat cut. This is hardly surprising as Tuah is 4540mm long, too long actually to be Persona class size.

Well, the comparison with Tuah is inevitable. But if P3-21A is really heavily Tuah, and we know from the sketch that Tuah/Espire was sketch/designed by Proton stylist, where is Italdesign contribution then?

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