In car terms, it’s not often you see an old friend like the Proton Savvy tackling ‘bigger and better’ some 15 years after it rolled off the production floor. But Indonesian start-up Vixmo has given the Proton Savvy the EV treatment.
Vixmo, the Surabaya-based company is focusing on AI research surrounding fully autonomous driving, but the reasons why they chose to build their working prototype around a 2007 Proton Savvy - out of all the other abundant small cars sold there - remains a mystery.
Proton Savvy EV
They’ve done some pretty interesting things with it as well such as swapping out that Renault-sourced D4F 1.2-litre engine for a fully electric powertrain of some description. Apparently housed within the car’s compact shell is a 22kWh lithium-ion battery, endowing the prototype with up to 150km of range, and feeding a 33.5hp/120Nm motor spinning the front wheels.
Speaking of wheels, there are a set of upsized rollers (17-inch, probably) in place of the standard 15-inch units that came with the car originally, and behind them is a conspicuously red pair of brake callipers. Supposedly with all the extra weight of an electric powertrain as well as the self-driving tech onboard, the Savvy’s stock stoppers would’ve been overwhelmed.
Clearly, there’s someone at the wheel of the car in some of these images, which were captured during the car’s official public unveiling at the Periklindo Electric Vehicle Show (PEVS) 2022. In fact, apart from the obvious roof-mounted sensor array, it almost seems like Vixmo went out of their way to preserve Proton’s styling cues and general look.
However, the interior has been gutted for the most part - perhaps it was too 2007. Though certain parts have only undergone a repaint and refinishing, such as the door panels, the dashboard, seats, and centre console look entirely new.
In the centre of this featureless expanse, we find a large widescreen LCD touch panel that, much like that found on a Tesla Model 3/Y, is used to access and/or control pretty much every feature built into the car. Here we see it displaying an overhead map among other things.
It’ll be interesting to see the EV, AI-driving Savvy prototype being put through its paces, but that will hopefully come one day. Once it serves its technological and research purposes, Vixmo will likely construct its subsequent prototypes to resemble their proposed final product.
Far from looking like anything on the road, they seem to be aiming to deliver a vehicle that is absent any human intervention whatsoever, lacking a visible steering wheel or conventional seating for a driver.