Mahaleel’s lull

It is baffling that Proton under CEO Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Tengku Ariff had the 1.655million units sold during his tenure and had plans, that could transformed and propelled Proton forward but it did not happened. story:

Proton had plans for Gen2 wagon, 5-door Satria Neo, sporty MPV, SUV and V6 engines – Tengku Mahaleel

According to Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Tengku Ariff, Proton had plans for several suggested models and new technologies in the past. The former CEO of Proton revealed this in a Facebook post recently, along with a few images of these potential cars.

For starters, there was an idea for a Gen2 station wagon designed by Russell Carr – the current head of design at Lotus Cars. Meanwhile, the GX-MPV concept and Edag Zawawi’s sketch reveal an alternative design for what would become Proton’s first MPV, which as we all know, ended up being the Exora.

Tengku Mahaleel also noted Tengku Djan was involved in the Sepang project, which was to make Malaysia’s first sports car. The model bears resemblance to the Lotus Europa, and visitors to the 2010 Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show would probably be reminded of the Lekir Concept.

The SRM (Satria Replacement Model) platform – used for the Satria Neo – was also the basis for many spin-off models. This included a four-door sedan and five-door hatchback, with other suggestions being a two-door convertible and even an MPV.

As with the first-generation Satria, a GTi variant was also in the works for the second-gen Satria Neo, along with a racing version. While a Satria Neo GTi never came into existence, CPS-equipped models did receive GTi-like styling enhancements, and R3 specials like the Lotus Racing were produced.

Around the time of the CamPro engines, Proton was already testing its new engine family (NEF), which included 2.2 litre and 3.0 litre V6 powerplants. Tengku Mahaleel stated the engines were “better, cheaper and more powerful than Petronas’ engine.”

He added that the V6 was designed in advanced for downsizing to a three-cylinder unit if required. Furthermore, the V6, which could be augmented with a supercharger, was claimed to be world-leading in many aspects – it had an output north of 400 hp.

This powerplant was said to be developed for use in Proton’s most advanced model called the MSX – shown as the Lotus APX Concept in 2006. Based on a modular chassis, the six-seat hatchback featured an aluminium body to keep the weight down, and could do 260 km/h (the APX was earmarked at 245 km/h). Recently, it was confirmed that Lotus is working on its own SUV, which at one point was considered to be sold as Proton by then chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Those were some interesting plans for the national carmaker back then, don’t you think? Let us know what your thoughts are on Proton’s previous plans in the comments below, and whether they would have helped change the company’s fortunes.


Why Tengku Mahaleel did not proceed considering he had the money and the brand was overpowering the Malaysian motorcar B and C segment market?

He had the ideas and the point of critical mass to transform the eco-system of Proton, but did not.

Was it because he was appointed by then Fourth Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, hence he was compelled to allow the corrupt eco-system to continue prop Proton?

In hindsight, he failed to realise all that he said he wanted to do.

Published in: on February 20, 2018 at 10:00  Leave a Comment  

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