The reports claims that the new engines - all of them petrol - under development include:
- 1.0-litre 3-cylinder with variable valve timing (VVT)
- 1.2-litre 3-cylinder with VVT
- 1.3-litre 4-cylinder with direct injection (DI)
- 1.5-litre 4-cylinder with DI
- 1.3-litre 4-cylinder turbo
- 1.5-litre 4-cylinder turbo
- 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo
The report claims that the new engines are expected to roll out beginning 2017, and that it will meet Malaysia’s energy efficient vehicle (EEV) requirements for added tax incentives, and comply to the latest Euro-6 exhaust emission regulations.
We cannot confirm the validity of the report yet, as Proton is expected to make an important announcement later today, but frankly, it is quite far-fetched for a company of Proton’s size to develop seven new engines concurrently.
To put things into perspective, even the juggernaut Toyota, which is richer than anyone else in the industry, had recently announced just eight new engines – five petrol and two diesel engines. Even by Toyota's standards, developing eight engines concurrently is a bit stretching its limits. Only a company with pockets as deep as Toyota’s can embark on a project of such scale.
Several years ago, eyebrows were raised when Mazda, a relatively small company announced that it will be developing five new engines – 1.5-litre SkyActiv-G, 2.0-litre SkyActiv-G, 2.5-litre SkyActiv-G, 1.5-litre SkyActiv-D, 2.2-litre SkyActiv-D – and two new transmissions, SkyActiv-Drive Manual and Automatic.
But never mind about whether Proton can afford it or not. From a powertrain strategy perspective, it’s quite unusual for a company to produce so many variants of similar capacity engines. The application potential for a 1.0-litre three-cylinder and a 1.2-litre three-cylinder are almost the same. Even a company as big as Ford for example, develops only one three-cylinder engine – the 1.0-litre turbocharged EcoBoost, complemented by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder naturally aspirated Ti-VCT.
Then again, Proton is also one of the few companies in the world to have so many overlapping products – Persona, Preve, Inspira, all competing within the same compact family sedan C-segment market. So the surprising might not be so suprising after all.
More to come later tonight.
Yes, the surprising did not turn out to be so surprising afterall. Proton has confirmed that is currently developing 6+1 engines - 6 from a family of 3- and 4-cylinder engines ranging from 1.0 to 1.5-litre, and another separate programme for a 2.0-litre four-cyllinder project. More here: Proton Cranks Up New Family of Six Engines for 2017 Introduction.
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