Based upon the now-discontinued eighth-generation Honda Accord, the 2016 Proton Perdana will enter the market with the same selection of 2.0- and 2.4-litre i-VTEC naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engines.
Actual launch date has yet to be confirmed, but Dr Mahathir indicated that he hopes the car will be ready to hit the roads before we end the first quarter of 2016. Pricing has yet to be confirmed, but Proton is looking to contain both the 2.0 and 2.4 variants within the RM100k-RM150k bracket.
Whilst the mechanical platform and electrical architecture are carried over almost wholesale from Honda, Proton is has done more than just slap its badge on the Accord. The company spent approximately RM200 million to engineer relevant changes that give the Perdana a different flavour compared to its Honda donor car.
We were given a quick preview (with our cameras locked away, unfortunately) of a pre-production unit of the new Perdana at the end of the abovementioned media briefing.
Stylistically, the new Perdana is quite a looker. Proton’s stylists did a fine job working within the constraints of the Honda platform whilst still delivering a vehicle of pleasingly balanced proportions. Onlookers can differentiate between the 2.0 and 2.4 models by looking out for an all-round bodykit fitted exclusively to the latter.
As suggested in spy photos, the entire rear C-pillar section is reconfigured to give the Perdana its own distinctive silhouette and window line. The familiar rising belt line of the Accord is present, a result of Proton continuing to utilize the Accord’s doors – albeit with reshaped window frames. There are otherwise no common body panels between the Accord and Perdana.
Up front, the Accord’s boxy fascia has been replaced by a more curvaceous and expressive appearance with the Perdana. On the 2.4-litre pre-production unit shown, the headlights were xenon projectors with LED position lamps, daytime running lights, and integrated signal lamps.
Over around the rear, the tail light cluster utilize full LED illumination, and as an addition over the Accord, the Perdana will have rear fog lamps. The number plate, like in the first generation Perdana, is bumper-mounted, as opposed to bootlid-mounted in the Accord. We could not locate the boot release switch on the display unit though.
Inside, we see the familiar interior of the eighth-generation Accord. The 2.4-litre display vehicle wears a beige interior with wood trim inserts; the 2.0-litre model gets a black interior.
As seen in interior spy pics provided by our friends from Autofreaks.com, Accord’s crowded stack of buttons is replaced by a neater-looking touchscreen to operate infotainment. The display vehicle was not fitted with keyless entry – unfortunately, since we've seen an example of a working centre console with such a feature integrated into Tun M's own official vehicle.