Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Proton Concept Restyles Lotus Europa

Lotus Europa

It’s a double threat from Proton! The Malaysian car maker has unveiled a host of new concepts at the Kuala Lumpur Motor Show, including too sports car concepts, dubbed the Lekir and Jebat.

The Lekir concept is based on the Lotus Europa, now called the Lekir. Although the Europa has struggled to make an impact for Lotus, it’s long term future could now be as Proton’s first true sports car.

If it were to make production, the Lekir would replace the Toyota engine with a Proton sourced 1.6-litre turbo powerplant, but carry over the chassis platform and major suspension components, as well plus the distinctive styling – although the front bumper has been tweaked slightly for the concept car, and there’s a fresh interior trim too.

The government backed Malaysian brand also bought several other striking performance concepts to the show, including the Jebat – essentially a Mitsubishi Evo X given the same black and white styling makeover as the Lekir, with a new body kit and alloy wheels to differentiate it from the donor car.

The Jebat uses a 2.0-litre turbocharged four cylinder petrol engine putting out 237bhp, and Proton are quoting claimed performance figures of 0-62mph in 5.6 seconds and a top-speed of 144mph.

Other concepts included a more mainstream four-door saloon named the Tuah, and a small front-wheel drive crossover that is destined for the rapidly expanding Chinese market.

It's not clear yet whether any of these cars will make full production, but as all the mechanicals are shared, it wouldn't take too much effort to turn the show cars into reality.

source: autoexpress