Make / Model Search

Future models - Proton - Hybrid city car

Geneva show: First Proton hybrid emerges

Joint effort: Proton and Giugiaro will reveal a new hybrid car at Geneva.

Malaysian car-maker and Italian design house join forces to produce Proton hybrid

15 Feb 2010

PROTON and Giugiaro have jointly revealed the concept version of a striking new city-car that will become the Malaysian national car-maker’s first hybrid model.

Expected to go on sale around the world – including in Australia – next year, the as-yet-unnamed vehicle will be previewed by a show car to debut at the Geneva motor show on March 2.

The smartly-styled five-door hatchback, which is just 3550mm long (160mm shorter than Proton’s range-opening Savvy) and features four identical and independently sliding seats, was designed by the Italdesign Giugiaro design studio.

Expected to closely resemble the forthcoming production version, it is built on a new Giugiaro-designed platform featuring a higher than usual roofline and floorpan to accommodate the hybrid system’s rear-mounted lithium-ion battery pack while offering cabin space that’s claimed to match many mid-size vehicles The hybrid system incorporates a front-mounted internal combustion engine to charge the batteries which, in a similar arrangement to GM’s Volt plug-in hybrid, drive the front wheels exclusively at all times.

Full details and more images are expected to be released at Geneva, but for now Giugiaro claims Proton’s new mini-car is “set to revolutionise traditional segmentation in the car market” because it was “developed with the aim of optimising the available onboard space and car access ergonomics”.

Italdesign Giugiaro chairman Giorgetto Giugiaro said the design was the outcome of several years of study.

“The solution allows interior spaciousness on a par with that of a segment D saloon despite maintaining the exterior dimensions of a segment A car," he said.

“You could say that it is a brand-new type of car, a new automotive concept where looks are as important as function, ergonomics and comfort, not to mention environmental impact.

“It is higher than other compact cars to make the best use of interior space the seat H point is at the same height as the passengers’ hips: you do not get down into your car as in a coupe, you do not climb up as in an SUV but you enter in a natural way.

“Rear seat comfort when you enter and leave the car is absolutely unprecedented, the distance from the front seat is comparable to that of an SUV.”

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Proton models

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here