Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Proton INSPIRA launched

We are now back from the Proton Inspira launch this morning at Proton’s Centre of Excellence and are ready to share with you what we have digested (the info, not the lunch). Here it goes…..

At a glance, there’s almost zero difference between the Inspira and Lancer save for Proton’s unique front end design, which is of a V-shape as opposed to Mitsubishi’s trademark trapezoidal “jet fighter” grille. Besides the obvious fact that the change is needed to differentiate the cars, Proton deliberately wanted to move away from the Lancer “too aggressive” look, according to the engineers.

At the rear, you’ll find 2.0 P or 1.8 E to mark the variants, the latter available in both manual and CVT versions. As mentioned in our preview drive, P stands for Premium and E stands for Executive in Proton’s new naming scheme, P being the higher spec. There’s a chrome strip at the bottom edge of the boot, like on the Lancer EX. The Proton’s bumper is unique as it has a black painted “diffuser style” design, as opposed to the straightforward item on the Lancer. The reflectors sit within the black area.

Like the Lancer EX, the Inspira wears 16-inch wheels with 205/60 rubber. With the Proton, you get unique Continental Comfort Contact CC5 tyres with compounds that were specifically developed for the car. The rim design looks much better without the black disguise tape on the pre-production cars. Suspension tuning also differs from the Lancer, as detailed in two rounds of preview tests we did. Click here and here to read them.

Inside, the differences are minimal. The three-spoke steering design has a Proton badge of course, and the instruments look the same. However, we just noticed that the “left speedo, right tacho” layout of the Lancer has been reversed for the Inspira, which has its rev meter on the left side. The multi-info screen is the orange one as per the Lancer sedan, not the full colour version on the Lancer Sportback. The wood trim in the P spec Inspiras are dark brown coloured (Lancer EX has greyish wood) while the 1.8 E gets a matte silver trim that’s nice to touch. All else is identical to these eyes, including the grade of plastics.

Peninsular Malaysia Prices

* Proton Inspira 1.8 M/T – RM78,999
* Proton Inspira 1.8 CVT – RM84,999
* Proton Inspira 2.0 CVT – RM91,999

East Malaysia Prices

* Proton Inspira 1.8 M/T – RM80,999
* Proton Inspira 1.8 CVT – RM86,999
* Proton Inspira 2.0 CVT – RM93,999

Langkawi Prices

* Proton Inspira 1.8 M/T – RM71,999
* Proton Inspira 1.8 CVT – RM75,999
* Proton Inspira 2.0 CVT – RM82,999