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Proton Gen-2

The Proton Gen-2 (stylized GEN•2) is a compact 5-door hatchback manufactured by Malaysian automobile manufacturer Proton which launched in 2004. It was initially codenamed Wira Replacement Model (WRM). The Gen-2 uses a platform which was extensively developed in-house by Proton and technical partner Lotus. This platform was later adapted for the Proton Satria Neo and Proton Persona. The Gen-2 was among the first models to be produced at Proton's Tanjung Malim plant, developed as part of the Proton City project.
The name Gen-2 is an abbreviation of Generation 2, as it served as the replacement to the Proton Wira Aeroback hatchback.
Manufacturer
Proton
Also called
Proton Wira Replacement Model (WRM)
Production
2004 – 2011
Model years
2004 – 2012
Assembly
Tanjung Malim, Perak, Malaysia
China Jinhua, Zhejiang, China
Predecessor
Proton Wira Aeroback
Successor
Proton Prevé
Class
Compact / C-segment
Body style
5-door hatchback
Layout
Front-engine, front-wheel drive
Engine
1.3L CamPro S4PH I4
1.6L CamPro S4PH I4
1.6L CamPro CPS I4
Transmission
4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase
2,600 mm (102.4 in)
Length
4,310 mm (169.7 in)
Width
1,725 mm (67.9 in)
Height
1,435 mm (56.5 in)
Curb weight
1,195–1,245 kg (2,630–2,740 lb)
Related
Youngman Europestar L3

History

2004-2007 Proton Gen-2 front view
2004-2007 Proton Gen-2 rear view
A silver Proton Gen-2 in Dhaka Motor Show 2012, in Dhaka, Bangladesh
The Proton Gen-2 was launched in the third quarter of 2004 in Malaysia where it became the first Proton to utilise an indigenously designed platform and engine. The CamPro (an abbreviation for Camshaft Profiling) engine and platform were both developed by Proton and Lotus. The Proton Gen-2 was first available with a 1.6 litre CamPro engine which produced 110 horsepower (82 kW) at 6,000rpm and 148Nm of torque at 4,000rpm, but was complemented by a less expensive 1.3 litre CamPro variant in August 2005. The Gen-2 was styled by Proton's Australian-educated chief stylist Damian Chia. He drew inspiration from the traditional Malay kite known as wau bulanand the handle of the Malay dagger, the kris, in shaping the unique grille of the Gen-2. Chia also gave the new car what he described as tiger-like eyes for a more forceful frontal appearance.
In July 2005, the Gen-2 R3 prototype concept was introduced at Dreamcars Asia Motorshow 2005. It was equipped with various aftermarket parts from Recaro, MOMO and Proton's own Race, Rally, Research (R3) division. Only 500 examples were made as a commitment to exclusivity and individuality. In August the following year, Proton released another limited edition model called the Gen-2 Merdeka Millennium Edition (MME) in commemoration of Proton's R3 Amprex victory at the 2005 Merdeka Millennium Endurance race. The Gen-2 MME was limited to 200 units and featured slightly improved performance, an in-car entertainment system, custom rims and a body kit.
Youngman Europestar RCR in China. The facelift model was known as the Europestar L3 5-door
The Proton Gen-2 EVE Hybrid Concept was unveiled at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show. EVE stood for Efficient, Viable, Environmental and it was primarily designed by Lotus Engineeringwith support from Proton. This concept car was powered by a CamPro 1.6 engine paired to a 30 kW (40 hp) electric motor. It also featured a continuously variable transmission, smart start-stop ignition and regenerative braking technology. The Gen-2 EVE offered lower carbon dioxide emissions (134g/km, reduced from 172g/km), a 28% increase in fuel efficiency (50.2 MPG) and a higher power output (141 hp and 233Nm/1,500 rpm). Although this concept car never made it into production, certain elements such as the CVT gearbox did and a CamPro hybrid engine is currently under development.
Proton entered the Chinese market in 2007 under a strategic partnership with China's Youngman Automobile Group. The deal involved a minimum of 30,000 Proton Gen-2 CBU cars that were rebadged in China under the Europestar brand.
Proton set foot in the Thai market on 1 December 2007 with the mid-life facelift of the Proton Gen-2. The Gen-2 facelift was launched in theMalaysian market in March the following year. It was sold in two trim lines, the High- Line and Medium- Line respectively. Proton introduced two new engines for the Gen-2; the High- Line featured the CamPro CPS 1.6 litre engine (where CPS stood for Camshaft Profile Switching) which produced 125 horsepower (93 kW) at 6,500rpm, and 150Nm of torque at 4,500rpm. The CamPro CPS incorporated variable valve timing and variable length intake manifold (VIM) technology to boost maximum power and remedy the undesirable torque dip which plagued the older CamPro engines. The Medium- Line was powered by the 1.6L CamPro IAFM (Intake Air-Fuel Module) which produced 110 horsepower (82 kW) at 6,000rpm and 148Nm of torque at 4,000rpm. The CamPro IAFM was essentially a basic DOHC CamPro engine equipped with a variable length intake manifold (VIM). However, the VIM technology used in the CamPro IAFM differed from the one used in the superior CamPro CPS. Aside from the engines, the facelifted Gen-2 was also equipped with a new front bumper, grille, rear spoiler and alloy wheels. The interior was also updated in line with that of the Proton Persona which was released in late 2007. The Gen-2 High-Line came with leather upholstery, cruise control, dual SRS airbags, ABS and EBD, but the Medium- Line only got a driver’s airbag. The Gen-2 in all its variants were priced between RM53,488 and RM60,488.
The Proton Gen-2 1.6 GSX ecoLogic was launched in the United Kingdom in August 2008. It was technically a Gen-2 converted to run on both petrol and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). The Gen-2 ecoLogic was complemented by a saloon (Proton Persona) ecoLogic variant as well. Both dual-fuel cars qualify for lower British road tax because LPG combustion produces less exhaust pollutants. Furthermore, the Proton-approved conversion is covered by the vehicle warranty (unlike aftermarket conversions), and both hatchback and saloon ecoLogic models retailed at £11,195 (~RM 54,250).
On 20 May 2010, Proton introduced the final update for the Gen-2. It received mild exterior and interior changes, with the most distinctive feature being the black roof. The Medium- Line trim was upgraded to incorporate the more powerful CamPro CPS 1.6 engine, previously reserved for High- Line variants. The updated Gen-2 also received a price drop and was sold in three colours; red, silver and white.

Export markets

The Proton Gen-2 was widely exported via Proton's worldwide dealer networks. It was sold in the United KingdomSouth Africa, AustraliaSingapore, ThailandIndonesia and Egypt among other markets.
The highest trim variants of the Proton Gen-2 sold in the British and Australian markets were equipped with four airbags. Gen-2's sold in Malaysia only received two airbags at most. An agreement was inked between Proton and Iranian distributor Zagross Khodro in December 2008 for CKD assembly of the Proton Gen-2 in Iran. It enabled the car to be more competitively priced in that market. Gen-2 models sold in export markets between 2011 and 2013 are equipped with the Proton Persona's LED tail lights, which help give the Gen-2 a more modern appearance.

Other developments

The Youngman Europestar L5 was launched at the 2011 Shanghai Motorshow. It was based on an extended Gen-2 platform (2,670mm, 70mm longer than the original) which was developed by Lotus and Youngman. It was also powered by Proton's CamPro CPS 1.6 litre engine which produced 125 bhp and 150Nm of torque. The Europestar L5 was available in hatchback and saloonvariants priced between RMB98,000 and RMB122,000 (~RM48,700 - RM60,600).
The Proton Gen-2 was one of two models (the other being the Proton Savvy) that MG Rover was looking to rebadge when it entered talks with Proton. Unfortunately, negotiations ended shortly before the Gen-2's winter 2004 launch in the United Kingdom. MG Rover was eventually purchased by China's Nanjing Automobile in July 2005.
The American company Detroit Electric and Proton Holdings Berhad signed an agreement in March 2009. The RM1.2 billion (USD$331 million) deal was to involve the annual production of 40,000 to 100,000 Proton Gen-2 (e46) and Proton Persona (e63) electric vehicles (EV). The cars were to be powered by an electric motor which could produce 150 kW (200 bhp) and 350 to 380Nm of torque. Its maximum projected range was 320 km (199 miles) on a 40kWh battery. The Detroit Electric e63 and e46 was targeted for sale in the U.S., Europe and China. Prototype models were made in 2008, but commercial production was non-existent. In January 2011, another updated prototype was caught in action, but no official announcements were made by Proton or Detroit Electric. The Gen-2 was phased out in 2012, and it is presumed that the agreement is no longer valid as of 2013.

Powertrains

Proton Gen-2 (facelift)

Manufacturer's claims
Engine
1.6L CamPro S4PH
1.6L CamPro CPS
Format
I4 DOHC 16V
I4 DOHC 16V
Total displacement (cc)
1,597
1,597
Bore x Stroke (mm)
76.0 x 88.0
76.0 x 88.0
Maximum Output [hp(kW)/rpm]
110 (82) / 6,000
125 (93) / 6,500
Maximum Torque (Nm/rpm)
148 / 4,000
150 / 4,500
Acceleration 0–100 km/h (seconds)
N/A
10.6 (MT) / 13.2 (AT)
Fuel tank capacity (litres)
50
50
The original CamPro S4PH engine
1.6L CamPro S4PH engine in the Europestar L3
1.6L CamPro CPS engine

Reception

The original Proton Gen-2 received poor to mixed British and Australian reviews. The most criticised aspect of the car was the interior. It lacked the necessary refinement and practicality for vehicles of its class. Additionally, the seating position was deemed impractical and the CamPro engine lacked sufficient power. However, the exterior was praised for its modern looks and the ride and handling attributes were also favourable. The Gen-2 ecoLogic was the only model to receive fair reviews. Auto Trader (UK) gave it 2.5/5 stars, commenting on the appalling interior as well as the generally good running costs, ride comfort and handling.
The Proton Gen-2 was also featured in Top GearSeries 5, Episode 9 which aired on 26 December 2004 in the United Kingdom. It was compared with other cars from Malaysia and South Korea, in which the Gen-2's pricing and looks were favoured by James May. However, he also commented on the Gen-2's interior, where he quoted "I'd gladly trade the Lotus-developed suspension for some Toyota-developed door trim."
Back to Proton
Last updated on 16 August 2013 at 15:24.

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