SPY PICS: Proton's Savvy successor

words - Gautam Sharma
Malaysia's all-new B-segment car has been snapped in testing ahead of its 2014 launch

These spy pics provide the first glimpse of Malaysian car-maker Proton’s upcoming rival for the likes of the Hyundai i20 and Toyota Yaris.

The vehicle in question is the replacement for the defunct Proton Savvy, and the camouflaged prototype pictured alongside was captured by the Automedia lenses at a test facility in Europe.

Based on what we see here, it appears Proton’s next-gen B-segment car will be slightly larger than the outgoing Savvy, although it retains the MPV-like proportions of its predecessor.

The Savvy launched in its home country in 2005, and it remained in production until 2011, with most of its sales coming from Asian markets.

Its successor is known internally by the codename P2-30A and it’s likely to be powered by a new generation of Proton engines, in line with the manufacturer’s aim to pitch it at the global market (hence its ‘Proton Global Small Car’ designation).

According to reports, Proton aims to sell about 60,000 units a year, following the vehicle’s launch in mid-2014.

The nameplate is yet to be announced, but we know it won’t be ‘Savvy’ as earlier this year Proton launched a ‘Nama Siapa Hebat’ contest, inviting Malaysians to contribute to the naming process of the new car. The winner of the contest will score a premium variant of the car that he or she helped name.

Provided the newcomer gets the green light for Australia, it could end up being the cheapest car on the market, especially as the $9990 Chery J1 was recently axed for failing to comply with the latest safety laws.

Although Holden’s Barina Spark currently has the lowest list price of any new car sold in Australia ($12,490 plus on-road costs), followed by Mitsubishi’s Mirage light hatch at $12,990, Chery’s J3 small hatch and Proton’s S16 light sedan currently share equal billing as Australia’s cheapest new cars at $12,990 drive-away.

The outgoing Savvy drew moderately positive reviews from Australian testers before it was discontinued in August 2012, with the $13,990 pricetag earning you a reasonably well-specced five-door hatchback.

Proton will once again need to push the value proposition if it is to launch the Savvy replacement in this market, as the Malaysian marque still does not enjoy the brand confidence that its Japanese and Korean rivals can trade off.

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Published : Thursday, 28 November 2013
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