We are now back from the Proton Inspira launch this morning at Proton’s Centre of Excellence and are ready to share with you what we have digested (the info, not the lunch). Here it goes…..
At a glance, there’s almost zero difference between the Inspira and Lancer save for Proton’s unique front end design, which is of a V-shape as opposed to Mitsubishi’s trademark trapezoidal “jet fighter” grille. Besides the obvious fact that the change is needed to differentiate the cars, Proton deliberately wanted to move away from the Lancer “too aggressive” look, according to the engineers.
At the rear, you’ll find 2.0 P or 1.8 E to mark the variants, the latter available in both manual and CVT versions. As mentioned in our preview drive, P stands for Premium and E stands for Executive in Proton’s new naming scheme, P being the higher spec. There’s a chrome strip at the bottom edge of the boot, like on the Lancer EX. The Proton’s bumper is unique as it has a black painted “diffuser style” design, as opposed to the straightforward item on the Lancer. The reflectors sit within the black area.
Like the Lancer EX, the Inspira wears 16-inch wheels with 205/60 rubber. With the Proton, you get unique Continental Comfort Contact CC5 tyres with compounds that were specifically developed for the car. The rim design looks much better without the black disguise tape on the pre-production cars. Suspension tuning also differs from the Lancer, as detailed in two rounds of preview tests we did. Click here and here to read them.
Inside, the differences are minimal. The three-spoke steering design has a Proton badge of course, and the instruments look the same. However, we just noticed that the “left speedo, right tacho” layout of the Lancer has been reversed for the Inspira, which has its rev meter on the left side. The multi-info screen is the orange one as per the Lancer sedan, not the full colour version on the Lancer Sportback. The wood trim in the P spec Inspiras are dark brown coloured (Lancer EX has greyish wood) while the 1.8 E gets a matte silver trim that’s nice to touch. All else is identical to these eyes, including the grade of plastics.
The 4B10 1.8 litre pot found on the two Executive variants offers 140 hp at 6,000rpm and 177 Nm at 4,250rpm, while the 4B11 2.0 litre block in the Premium has 150 hp and 197 Nm at the same rpm as above. Performance-wise, the 1.8 manual has a claimed top speed of 202 kph and a 0-100 kph sprint time of 10.0 secs, while that of the 1.8 CVT is 191 kph and 11.4 secs. As for the 2.0 Premium, it gets to 198 kph and does the century sprint in 10.5 secs. As for kerb weight, the manual rolls in at 1,300 kg, while the 1.8 CVT and 2.0 P are 1,325 kg and 1,335 kg respectively.
Four colours are available for the Inspira, and these are Plum Red, Solid White, Genetic Silver and Tranquility Black. In terms of specifications and equipment levels, the Inspira gets a fair bit of kit, though the 2.0 Premium version does naturally get more in the way of added gear.
Nonetheless, all three variants come with dual SRS airbags, leather steering wheel, front pre-tensioner seatbelts, ABS with EBD, immobiliser and alarm system, central door locking, Isofix point, reverse sensor, solar and security tinted film and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.
Other items on the features list across the board are trunk lid remote release, front fog lamps, welcome home light system, driver’s side anti-trap/auto up-down power window, height adjustable driver’s seat and a MP3/Bluetooth-enabled CD player audio system with Arkamys 3D DSP.
As befits its Premium suffix, the Inspira 2.0 gets a number of differentiation points and features compared to the two 1.8 Executive models, and these are:
- Cruise control (with steering wheel-mounted switches)
- Column-mounted paddle shift controls
- Automatic climate control
- Auto headlamp and rain sensors.
- Body kit and rear spoiler.
- Leather seats and door trim finishing (the 1.8 versions are in fabric)
- A GPS navigation system.
Peninsular Malaysia Prices
- Proton Inspira 1.8 M/T – RM78,999
- Proton Inspira 1.8 CVT – RM84,999
- Proton Inspira 2.0 CVT – RM91,999
- Proton Inspira 1.8 M/T – RM80,999
- Proton Inspira 1.8 CVT – RM86,999
- Proton Inspira 2.0 CVT – RM93,999
- Proton Inspira 1.8 M/T – RM71,999
- Proton Inspira 1.8 CVT – RM75,999
- Proton Inspira 2.0 CVT – RM82,999