Proton has officially unveiled its Mitsubishi Lancer-derived Inspira mid-sizer, after its soft launch to the public and media in late October. Since then Proton has received over 1,800 bookings from customers around Malaysia in anticipation of its market launch this month.
The new model is the result of an OEM collaboration (the word "rebadge" sounds nastier...) between PROTON and Mitsubishi Japan, the latter providing the mechanical and design basis and the former tweaking the model for the Malaysian market.
Among those changes are the signature Proton grille and -according to the Malaysian company- the incorporation of Lotus DNA in the Inspira's ride and handling.
"PROTON is ready to move even further ahead to become a recognised player in the global automotive industry. We have been working and collaborating with Mitsubishi for the last 25 years and its a natural step forward for us to continue to work with them in this project. One of our product strategy is to introduce non-core models through strategic collaborations which provides a more efficient, timely, and cost effective product to the market. The Proton Inspira is an excellent example of this strategic collaboration."
Proton Holdings Berhad's Managing Director Dato' Haji Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir is equally enamoured with the new model:
"The enormous level of interest shown since we first announced the introduction of the new model is certainly a big sign of approval from car buyers. PROTON would like to thank all those who have placed a booking for the Inspira and believe me, they will not be disappointed with the new generation of Proton cars coming their way."
The Inspira uses Mitsubishi's existing 1.8 and 2.0 Liter MIVEC engines, the latter of which is only available with the CVT transmission. Scroll down for the image gallery that includes pictures from the official brochure and a video from the presentation.
By Tristan Hankins