Next-gen Proton Saga, Persona to be developed in new R&D centre in Hangzhou – to include NEV hybrids too!

Next-generation Proton Saga rendered by Theophilus Chin


At the Proton Chinese New Year media appreciation dinner today, CEO Li Chunrong shared a few updates regarding the national carmaker’s future plans. Notably, these included a surprising announcement concerning its homegrown models, reinforcing the notion that its lineup won’t be entirely replaced by Geely-based models.


Li confirmed that Proton will be setting up a new R&D centre in Hangzhou, China specifically for the development of its homegrown models, currently consisting of the Saga, Persona and Iriz. This presumably means that it will benefit from closer cooperation with Geely, which is also based in Hangzhou.


As yet, it’s unclear if the new models will be a development of the current cars or be based on Geely’s platforms – like the B-segment Modular Platform (BMA) that underpins the X50 and S70.


Next-gen Proton Saga, Persona to be developed in new R&D centre in Hangzhou – to include NEV hybrids too!


Whichever route Proton takes, we can safety assume these cars won’t simply be rebadged versions of existing Geely models and will have considerably greater local input. Also unclear is the timeline for the introduction of these new homegrown cars, which has been intentionally left open for debate.


It’s also been confirmed that Proton will be introducing a New Energy Vehicle (NEV, think hybrid or electric vehicle) based not on a Geely platform, but on the Saga/Persona/Iriz platform. This will likely be a mild hybrid model that uses the 1.5 litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine and 48-volt belt starter-generator (BSG) from the X90.


The post Next-gen Proton Saga, Persona to be developed in new R&D centre in Hangzhou – to include NEV hybrids too! appeared first on Paul Tan’s Automotive News.


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