06 April 2012

Proton Preve - The Preview

Promised to be the best Proton ever, Proton Preve has a lot of expectation to live up to. Proton claimed they have put substantial effort in the development of Preve to ensure that it meets the global standard to ensure the car in marketable in the global market. Make no mistake though, it's not like all previous wasn't properly engineered, in fact all models were in fact engineered to the homologation standard of many region such as Europe and GCC to name a few. But Preve is different, it has to meet also global expectation on perceived quality, global standard of aesthetic design, state-of-the-art engineering material optimization as well as competitive in terms of safety standard to stand on par with its potential competitor from established manufacturer. Hence, Preve has a lot to prove.

What's in the name?
"Preve" is meant to be pronounced as "prae-vae". According to Oxford dictionary, preve means to prove. So it is consistent with Proton justification is the naming and spelling. However, the pronouncation has been changed to make it sounds more commercial. So here it is. The Proton with a lot to prove.

Styling and Package
Proton Preve adopts global and trendy design concept that is timeless. Hence it explains why Proton choose to work with inoffensive design cues that blend the perfect compromise between blandness and intensely intricate. However, Proton has packaged many state-of-the-art features with car such LED DRL. The styling is entirely different from old-Korean looking crops for Savvy, Saga and Exora, instead it adopts a Euro-smooth kind of surfaces with flush fitting lighting. The design detail is a derivation from modern Proton, such as the winged grille garnish, notched at the bottom of the front grille and the rear combi inner graphic  is what previewed by the Saga FL/FLX. The body lines are crisper too. As can be seen above, rear fascia is characterized by a character line that runs all the way from the trunk lid panel into the rear combi and rear bumper before melting to join the trunk lid shut lines.

The interior is packaged to have a class-leading level of spaciousness. The legroom for the front seat is 930mm while the rear legroom is 815mm. Apart from voluminous 508L boot space that is class-leading, the storage space is littered across the interior too. Each door trim can hold 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. Hmm...how to use the rear cupholder if there are 3 occupants back there? More detail after the jump.

There's also commodious glovebox, storage box under the front centre armrest  as well as small compartment to smart-tag sized in front of the driver.
The seats are upholstered in water-repellent fabric and the rear seat is equipped with ISOFIX mounting to facilitate a safer integration of child seat.

Proton Preve is build on the same base platform as the Proton Exora. The rear floor backwards is exclusive to Preve, including the multi-link rear suspension in place of Exora cheaper torsion beam setup.

For the size, Proton Preve is easily the largest among it peers. 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.

Safety - by design and equipment
Proton Preve was designed to the modern crash standard. The car been crash-tested in Spain ( I assumed Idiada) and Preve has been engineered to obtain 5 star in the NCAP test. Some of the means in achieving the required safety standard without incurring too much weight penalty lies in the optimized body structure design. 

Hot Press Forming (HPF) is used at strategic placement to ensure effective load absorption. For those not in the know, HPF is a process to stamp the metal at elevated temperature. This process can be utilized to press the stiff metal panel into a spesific design without pushing into the brittle region. While Proton does not publish the rating of the metal used, ultra high strength metal like 1800MPa grade will turn brittle when close to its yield limit. To prevent this from happening, the material is heated to ease off the grain structure to enable the panel to be shaped into the desired shape without cracking. Refer here for previous coverage on Ultra High Strength Steel. HPF is used in 12 areas of the Preve body, with majority of them concentrated the B-pillar and side structure. In Proton speak, it is called RESS, Reinforced Safety Structure.

In addition to this, Preve is engineered to accommodate 6 airbags. 4 airbags will be fitted to the Premium model (front and side) while the Executive model will make do with dual frontal SRS. Curtain airbags will be fitted to the market that needs it.

Active front headrest is part of the safety package. It will move the headrest upward and forward in during rear impact to lessen the injury risk to the occupants neck. Seat belt pretensioners is standard across the range. So are ABS, EBD and rear disc brake. The Premium version gets the ESP. 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.

This is the area that has been covered pretty much in any given media for the last few months. There are basically 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.
The IAFM+ engine and gearbox combo is the same as per the Saga FLX SE. In that application, the mill produced 108bhp@5750rpm and 150Nm@4000rpm. No official figure is quoted yet to the Preve application. However, all the headlines are dominated by the CFE version of Preve Premium, where its 138bhp@5000rpm and 205Nm@2000-4000rpm is enough to punch the Preve from nought to 100 km/h in 9.6 seconds on the way to 200km/h top speed. Fuel consumption rated as 8.2L/100km in mixed consumption. For greater detail on CFE engine, refer to MMN previous coverage HERE.

Equipment Level
Equipment wise, Proton Preve is generously equipped. All version gets the ABS+EBD, dual SRS, front active headrest, anti-trap power window (driver), front and rear fog lights and immobilizer. The Premium version gets additional safety features such as Brake Assist and Traction Control, Side airbags, ISOFIX mounting and get the luxury of auto headlamps. Despite the tempting features of the Premium one, for the first time, buying the entry level model won't give you a short-changed feeling.

All model gets the steering wheel with audio switch mounted (Premium is leather upholstered), remote trunk lid release, CD player with Bluetooth, USB and iPOD connectivity, projector headlight and follow me home light. Premium version is further equipped with auto-folding side mirror (with LED indicator for all model), integrated touch screen GPS (Executive gets portable unit),automatic aircond, auto cruise, auto wiper, push start button and rear spoiler. 4G internet is standard in all model.

The indicative pricing for Proton Preve is RM65,500 for Executive MT, RM68,500 for Executive CVT and RM75,500 for Premium CVT. However, final price will be revealed during the launching.

Proton Preve is due to launched on 16th April 2012. If you are reading up until this last paragraph, chances are you are interested in this car. Booking are open. Please get in touch with Mr. Nazz at 017-312 4300 of Proton Edar Glenmarie for booking. You know you want it.

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