19 April 2012

Proton Preve - full details & mega gallery

Proton Preve is a C-Segment sedan, conceptualize to shift public perception not only in Malaysia, but also to spearhead Proton more meaningful penetration into the global market. Hence, Proton Preve has been engineered to meet the rising global standard in terms of crashworthiness, emission as well the expected perceived value in the design and engineering. 

However, in Malaysia, the competition is somewhat distorted by the tax structure, whereby Preve will be tasked to fend off the emerging Korean, in the forms of C- Segment best value for money, Kia Forte as well as the svelte-looking newly introduced Hyundai Elantra. Both are locally assembled and has a particularly super-high equipment level and competitive pricing. Other than that, the easy prey would be the B-Segment Japanese stalwart which has been hanging on for a long time based on their brand reputation, namely Toyota Vios and Honda City. None are loaded to the brim and neither are keenly priced. So watch out Japs!

For the introduction model, Proton Preve comes in two specification, Executive and Premium. The cheaper Executive model is powered by the IAFM+ engine paired with either Getrag-sourced 5 speed manual or Punch-supplied CVT with 6 pre-set ratio. Priced for these variants are RM59,990 for the manual and RM62,990 for the CVT. The range topper is powered by the turbocharged CFE engine paired to ProTronic CVT gearbox with 7 speed overrides. This version goes for RM72,990.

Proton has commissioned Italdesign Guigiaro for both exterior and interior design. We are used to see some of the recent Italdesign showcars of the late adopting a simple front and rear fascia graphic, and Preve is no exception. The smooth front end is dominated by the rising headlight with elegant inner graphics and flanks the simple horizontally aligned grille bar, topped by the traditional Proton's wing. Curiously though, the top radiator grille and bottom outer opening are horizontally laid out whereas the middle lower opening adopts the mesh pattern. The hood is of the semi-clamshell type, reminiscent of Waja's hood. Overall it gives a clean in an unadventurous way aesthetically. 

One of the plus point at the front is the headlight that are fully covered by the hood. This could be car-park friendly. Unlike some car that has gigantic wrapped-around headlight, when the car is being pushed in the car park repeatedly, the fixing bracket sometimes can be broken.
The rear end is Germanic looking, with Audi-styled slim rear light, albeit punctuated by the first the character line that run vertically through the rear light, and secondly the smaller inner-section with curiously unmatch color-wise for the clear lens. MMN thinks that the character line that runs through the bumper, uprising into the rear light bound the thin lines between being fussy and distinctive, more towards the former. The body colored horizontal garnish does reduce the visual mass of the tall trunk lid, but it adds the overall fascia fussiness at the rear, giving an impression of unresolved design.
The side profile though is flourished with small details that garnished the body well, preventing it from looking like a heavily booted hatchback thanks to stubby notchback. The window line is virtually lengthened by the blackened front plastic quarter, and the C-pillar garnish that smoothen the rear door glass line. The flared wheelarch lends some mascular look, supported by the very pronounced lower sills and crisp belt line. It is from the side that the rear end appears a bit indented, pressed-in kind of look which take some time to get used to.
Overall, Proton Preve is aesthetically pleasing to look at, with no intense styling elements that can cause tiresome to the eye upon long look-out. It was designed to last long, perhaps incorporating the taste of the intended captured market both domestically and internationally. 

Proton Preve measures 4,543mm long, 1,786mm wide and 1,524mm tall. Wheelbase stands at 2,650mm. For comparison between Preve and the immediate challenger in Malaysian market, refer to previous MMN coverage HERE. Kerb weight is 1,340kg for the CFE version. The car obviously generously-sized, but global  trend for the compact sedan is like this, boundary 4.5m in length.

Proton has taken the leaf out from the European OEM in partitioning the interior plastic quality in a very effective manner. The upper part of the dashboard, upper part of door trim and the horizontal fascia for door arm rest are REAL soft touch plastic with padded feeling. Obviously, Proton strived hard this time around to enhance the perceived quality of the cabin.

However, the fascia is a bit too plainly upright with no surface segregation. The fascia basically just fall down from the centre aircond outlet, falling down flatly all the way to the gear console. It is undoubtedly simple, but can be perceived as bland by some.

The Exora-based steering has been given a new cover with prominent chromed Proton emblem embedded in. The steering wheel switch too has throw away the plasticky item, replaced by sturdier item separated by elegant chrome bars.

While cabin color is predominantly dark, the Executive and Premium version are differentiated by the dashboard fascia trim. While the Premium version gets the premium-looking simulated wood outlook, the Executive has to settle for less appealing golden trim. The trim color extends to the front door inside handle housing as well. All version gets silver floor console garnish, with piano-black-like gear console surround. The Executive version has to make to SAT function for the gear change with neither gated sequential shifter nor the paddle shifter. All version come with water-repellent seat fabric, which is pleasing to touch and to sit on to.  
As can be seen below, the simulated wood finish on the dashboard really gives the interior a much needed ambiance uplift. Space is good, with legroom for the front seat is 930mm while the rear legroom is 815mm, class leading figure. Storage space is littered across the interior where each door trim can fit a tissue box or 3 bottle of 500ml bottled water. A couple of cupholder is located in the floor console, while the other two can be found in the foldable rear armrest.

Boot space is voluminous at  508L, some 2L more than the Honda City which is the class-leader in the B & C Segment. However, wheelarch intrusion is quite significant, where the boot narrows significantly towards the centre of the car inside the tyre arches. However, the volume is regained by the very tall boot. However, Proton has dropped the trunk-lid multi-link hinge like the Persona. This goose-neck hinge applied here is a lot cheaper, but will surely eat some usable space in the boot.

There are two powertrain options, 1.6L IAFM+ and 1.6L CFE. The IAFM+ engine is for the Executive, while Premium version gets the turbocharged power of the CFE engine. Drive is channelled to the option of Getrag 5 speed manual or CVT with 6 preset ratios in the Executive model with IAFM+ powertrain. The CFE version is exclusively paired to the ProTronic CVT gearbox with 7 preset ratios selectable via paddle shift. Otherwise, driver still can access the sequential mode via the gated gear shifter in the Premium model.
The IAFM+ engine produced 108bhp@5750rpm and 150Nm@4000rpm. The drivetrain is sufficient to thrust Preve to 100km/h in 12s (12.5s for CVT) on the way to 180km/h (170km/h for CVT) of top speed.  The Premium version is powered by the CFE engine kicking 138bhp@5000rpm and 205Nm@2000-4000rpm and is enough to punch the Preve from nought to 100 km/h in 9.6 seconds on the way to 190km/h top speed. Fuel consumption at constant 90 km/h is quoted as 6.2L/100km for IAFM+ 5MT, 5.8L/100km for IAFM+CVT and 6.6L/100km for the CFE Premium. For greater detail on CFE engine, refer to MMN previous coverage HERE.
Proton Preve is blessed with Proton R&H which is essentially Lotus trained personnel. The setup consists of McPhersons struts the front, and the rear is taken care by the costly multi-link suspension setup, unlike the cheaper torsion beam of the competitors. 

Proton has resisted from shifting to Electric Power Steering, retaining the trusted Hydraulic setup. Braking power is provided by vented disc up front and solid disc at the back, both 15" in diameter. Proton claimed they have tuned the braking performance to be a class leader, where it can stop the car from 100 km/h to standstill in mere 36.8 meters.

Equipment Level
Unlike any other Proton before, the Preve is equipped to the brim. Safety wise, all version gets ABS+EBD, dual front SRS, front active headrest to reduce whiplash injury and immobilizer while the Premium version gets an added Brake Assist and Traction Control, Electronic Stability Control, side airbags, ISOFIX rear seat mount and auto headlamps.

The steering wheel is audio controlled button is leather wrapped in Premium version. The Premium version also gets an electrically folded side mirror, whereby both version are equipped with LED side indicator. Audio systems for both model comes with MP3, Bluetooth, USB and iPOD connectivity but the Premium version gets an additional touch screen feature that has build-in GPS.

The Premium version gets an automatic aircond, a first in Proton cars. Starter button, auto cruise, auto wipers and rear spoiler are included too for the Premium. However, the Executive model still gets Follow Me Home Light and Remote Trunk Release as standard. 4G Wifi is standard feature across the range too. 

Detail gallery
Proton Preve is full with interesting design touch like no Proton of the past. Below is the huge gallery, outlining the general outlook as well as detail part of Proton Preve. Head after the jump for the mega gallery.

Main exterior
Rear fascia is a bit cluttered with many lines. Panel gaps are good

Crisp rising belt line is really prominent from isometric view

The stubby rear trunk lid lends the massive boot volume

Distinctive front that blend Proton element from the past to the future

Crisp belt line combined with flared wheel arches giving a well-planted look to the front

Clean uncluttered front end design. Classy headlight inner graphic

Rear end can be a bit too stubby from this view, accentuated further by the rear duck tail spoiler

Rear lights in action

Rear bumper make do without the black lower garnish like the Inspira and Exora Bold

Exterior design detail
The headlight, projector and LED comes standard

Hood are meant to sit above the headlight, so can be car park friendly when pushing the blocking Preve

The "scooping" section down the bumper

Notice the 3 fins on the delta cover behind the side mirror?

Multi-surfaces hood+fender make panel gap management becomes important

Front door are perfectly aligned with the rear door...

While on this particular car, the rear door......

C-pillar plastic panel is a nice aesthetic addition, lets hope it will outlast the weathering effect

Goose neck hinge mechanism as well as the speakers base....

Rear light is an amalgamation of contoured section, multi-lens and angled in its position

LED rear light in action, hint of an Audi?

Teutonic overtones in this view...

Interior - Preve Executive version
The cheapest variant, the MT Executive, note the gear lever

Gold-ish fascia, manual aircond, no chrome button surround, standard ICE

No push start button here, replaced by card holder

Executive CVT version, gold-ish trim make it looks a bit spartan

Meter binnacle is simple, yet pleasing when illuminated

Steering wheel incorporated an improved in features based on public comments on Exora steering

The meter binnacle again...

Executive CVT, with non-gated type, but with SAT

Floor console with two cupholders + coin holder

Front door trim for Executive model, padded material for the arm rest

Door inside handle is an all-new item, so is the fixing concept with door trim integrated housing

Power window switch that ditched the old-fashion item in many Malaysian cars

Rear door trim, similarly voluminous storage bin 

More storage space in the floor console + power socket, but no rear aircond duct

Rear floor console

Spacious rear seat, both leg and head-wise

Interior - Preve Premium version
Simulated wood finish lift interior ambiance, ICE is boxy in outlook, perhaps a bit dated

Auto aircond for the Premium, as is the touch screen ICE, button flanking the ICE are chrome-surrounded

The glovebox, with consistent but visible panel gap

Glovebox door is padded from the housing with rubber stopper. Housed the passenger airbag switch

Dark wood-look gives it more premium look. Gear console is gated for sequential shifting

Auto aircond and more chrome touch for the button row

Floor console for the Premium is as per the Executive

Clearer view of the gear console 

Push start button

Steering wheel buttons are tastefully done

Finally Proton logo gets the finishing it deserved

The simulated wood run across the fascia

Front left door trim

Front door bin

The Premium front cabin

Generous rear accommodation

Shape of rear door aperture

Proton Preve Studio Photo

Proton Preve Exterior Color Option
Fire RED

BLUE Lagoon


Elegant BROWN

Tranquillity BLACK

Genetic SILVER

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