Proton today has handed over the first batch of the new Proton Perdana to the Prime Minister in a special event, and set to replace the ageing outgoing model which has been in service since last decade. As the whole world know, the "new" Proton Perdana is a redevelopment of the previous 8th generation Honda Accord from the year 2008. The Honda Accord has been reinterpreted with Proton design touch which include new front grille, new front bumper with heavily chromed front bumper insert ( a bit like the facelifted large Saab) while the rear end retains the old bumper, but the inner reflector on the trunk lid has been removed (ala pre-facelifted US Accord) with the chrome bar intact and the license plate area has been heavily garnished with chrome too.
For the Prime Minister of Malaysia and the Deputy Prime Minister, Proton has stretched the 8th-gen Honda Accord by significant amount to be a proper limo. However, it is obviously an unseamless stretched job as the the different in height of the front door trailing edge and rear door leading edge can clearly be seen and it is matched with the splintered panel. We don't know how long the wheelbase is extended, but it looks as if it is more than 300mm. The chrome finish on the window surround is removed too.
Also unleashed on the same day is the standard wheelbase version for the new Proton Perdana for other government official use. The standard version is more akin to your cooking Honda Accord although it too receives the similar front and rear end updates. More details after the jump.
From the news, the new Proton Perdana is available with both 2.0L and 2.4L, paired to 5 speed automatic transmission. This and other mechanical parts at the moment is still true-blue Honda Accord. As spotted from the previous spyshots, the interior has been carried over wholesomely from the donor car, saved for the Proton badge embossed into the steering wheel hub.
The delivery is part of the stages planned to deliver the new Proton Perdana to the government officer, and this will gradually phase out the older Perdana and Perdana Executive in use. 200 unit is planned to be delivered each month. It is rumoured that there is a "2nd phase" cosmetic change for the 8th-gen Accord to be a proper customer car and will be marketed to the public. However, since this car is already 5 years old, and if the proper re-styling is going to take some time, it does not sound like a smart business plan to me, more like a fire-fighting move that focus on short term gain instead of proper long range product planning.
What do you reader think about this move? A smart move? Does the PM and DPM needs to drive a Malaysian car as we all know Proton produces a budget car and D-segment if too far beyond its feasible product range. What if Malaysia only has Perodua? Should they stretched a Camry, or rebadge Toyota Century for the matter? I think the highest official should just be chauffeured in Mercedes-Benz S-Class LWB as in the mid 90s, while the high-ranking goverment servant should instead settled with originally-badged D segment like Honda Accord with government special plates.
Just to change perspective, why don't they phased out Proton Perdana Executive in 2005 when Proton Chancellor was launched? The long wheelbase Proton Waja clearly has what it takes to be a top boss car with its extended wheelbase and luxuriously trimmed interior. If the move was done back then, this problem won't occur today.
|Proton stretched Chancellor from the year 2005|
|Proton Chancellor rear cabin|