It has emerged that Proton will add to its Asia-focused fleet of models with a Suzuki-based SUV in 2017.
Paul Tan claims to have received word from a “high-ranking Proton official” that the company is actively developing an SUV and although no official details about the vehicle have been revealed, it could be based around the Suzuki Vitara.
Proton and Suzuki already have an active partnership and the former is hard at work developing a re-badged version of the Suzuki Ertiga MPV. It’s therefore very likely that Proton will make the most of its Suzuki deal for its new SUV as well.
If the Proton SUV is indeed based around the Vitara, it can be expected to receive the same range of engines. That means a naturally-aspirated 1.6-liter petrol engine delivering 118hp and 156 Nm of torque should come standard alongside a six-speed automatic transmission. Further down the road, there’s a chance Proton could borrow the 1.4-liter turbocharged Vitara S powertrain which offers up 140 hp and 220 Nm.
As with all other existing Proton models, the SUV will be sold predominately in the firm’s home market of Malaysia but there’s a chance it could make its way to South America, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Renderings via Theophilus Chin