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Persona Brings A Fresh New Face And Improved Quality For Proton In Australia - (Australia)

May 6th, 2008

Proton Cars has launched an all-new Persona onto the Australian market with fresh styling, improved build quality and better performance.

The new Persona shares only its name with the previous Proton Persona model, a car that was sold in Australia between 1995 and 2005. The new model however is based on the Proton designed and developed GEN.2 platform and uses an improved version of Proton's own Campro 1.6 litre twin cam engine.

The new Persona will come to market with a recommended retail price of $16,990 plus on roads for the five speed manual and $18,990 for the four speed automatic. It will be available in one fully equipped trim level, underlining the car's tremendous value.

An expansive standard equipment list includes ABS antilock brakes with EBD, driver and front passenger SRS airbags, climate control air conditioning, power windows, remote keyless entry and boot release, electric remote control mirrors, electronic reversing sensors, AM/FM/MP3/CD audio system and alloy wheels.

The interior is a refinement of the current GEN.2 design with its sporty Lotus inspired instrument binnacle and air conditioning controls while incorporating a new black and grey dash trim, an integrated glove box, new door mounted power window and remote mirror controls as well as improved seats and a redesigned centre console.

The Persona has been a runaway success in its native Malaysia, where it has helped return Proton to profit and boosted market share for the company. The Malaysian domestic sales success has come on the back of dramatic improvements in build quality, driveability and interior design.

According to Proton Cars Australia managing director, John Startari, the new Persona delivers on the basics offering buyers a better overall package while maintaining Proton's reputation for excellent fuel economy, high equipment levels and value for money.

"The first thing Persona drivers will notice is the integrity and quality improvements as well as the lift in performance thanks to better engine management programming," said John Startari.

"Add these improvements to the already pleasing styling and the remarkable ride and handling package engineered by Lotus and the Persona is clearly the most complete and pleasing car the company has produced so far," he added.

While Persona shares its DNA and many styling cues with its sibling the GEN.2, Proton stylists have refined the design delivering a refined, simple but elegant sedan which projects its own individuality.

"Persona certainly answers the potential the Proton marque has been promising since starting its own design and development program almost a decade ago," said John Startari.

Style, safety, spaciousness, practicality, quality, comfort and performance are the seven key areas that guided Proton designers in formulating a package to meet the requirements and expectations of a wide spectrum of buyers.

Persona is strategically positioned as an entry-level four-door sedan, designed and priced for universal appeal to the first time car buyer, replacement car buyer, or families purchasing a second car.

"The new Persona is the manifestation of the new attitude, new processes and the new approach embraced by the company and its personnel," Startari added.

Persona produces maximum power of 82kW at 6000rpm and 148Nm of torque at 4000rpm, however more importantly it delivers fuel economy of just 4.5ltr/100km on the highway cycle for the manual transmission car, the equivalent of 62 miles per gallon in the old money.

Safety has been a high priority for Proton designers both in active and passive terms with a number of refinements to make the car more user friendly.

Active safety is projected via improved steering and handling capabilities, making the new Persona more responsive, predictable and stable, allowing more precision to the driver.

The engineering of the Persona was undertaken in tandem with subsidiary Lotus, a move that maximised the car's safety through a more secure cabin and better structural rigidity.

Persona boasts a spacious 430-litre boot compartment with 60/40 split fold rear seats meaning plenty of luggage space.

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