Proton Inspira Official Details & Pricing Announced; Now Available For Booking
Proton has officially announced the name and pricing of the Proton Waja successor. Proton Inspira, the name rumoured for some time and confirmed by yesterday's leaked brochure, is the official name Proton has decided upon. Three Inspira variants are offered—a 1.8-litre with a five-speed manual gearbox, a 1.8-litre with a CVT gearbox and a 2.0-litre with a CVT gearbox.
Now open for booking with a RM 1000 deposit, the Inspira costs RM 79,880 for the base Inspira 1.8 manual and not more than RM 95,000 for the range-topping Inspira 2.0 CVT. The mid-range Inspira 1.8 CVT will be priced somewhere in between. Four colours are available: red, white, black and silver. The pricing will be finalised by the Inspira's launch on November 10.
Built at the Shah Alam plant, the Inspira is a rebadged Mitsubishi Lancer, meaning that Proton's input on altering the Inspira is limited. On the outside, the Inspira gets Proton's own grille and revised front/rear bumpers; the headlamps and tail lights are unchanged. Despite letting know these changes, Proton insists on keeping the Inspira's looks a secret, releasing the incomplete photos you see in the gallery! No photos of the interior were released, either.
As part of the agreement with Mitsubishi Motors, Proton was restricted from tuning the Lancer's powertrains, so the 143 hp, 177 Nm 1.8-litre 4B10 engine and the 155 hp, 199 Nm 2.0-litre 4B11 engine are carried over. The 1.8-litre can be paired with either a five-speed manual gearbox or a CVT gearbox with six virtual ratios. The 2.0-litre only comes with the CVT gearbox. Steering column-mounted paddle-shifters are standard on the 2.0-litre.
The chassis is obviously the same as the Lancer's as well, but Proton was allowed to tweak the suspension settings with a dose of Lotus DNA, though it remains to be seen how different the Inspira and the Lancer actually are in terms of ride-and-handling.
The decision for badge engineering boils down to economics of scale and projected sales volume. Proton says that unlike the Waja, which faced less competition when it was launched ten years ago, the Inspira is only projected to achieve sales of 1600 units monthly, no thanks to stiff competition in the small car segment. Rebadging a Lancer is not only much cheaper but also faster when it comes to development time. Proton intends to boost the Inspira's local content from the initial 40 percent to 65 percent eventually.