Proton – the Malaysian manufacturer that owns Group Lotus – has wheeled out a string of new concepts, including a version of the Lotus Europa, at the Malaysian manufacturer's local motor show in Kuala Lumpur. The concepts indicate the future intentions for the Proton brand, which builds cars primarily for the Asian market.
The most sporting of the models is the Lekir – in effect a Lotus Europa with restyled bumpers, black trim ahead of the rear wheel arches and Proton badging. Sources in Malaysia suggest that the Lekir (shown above) could become the long-term future of the Europa, which has not been a success for Lotus. Such a model would feature a 1.6-liter turbocharged Proton powerplant, and make use of the Europa's platform and suspension components, plus much of its bodywork.
More significant for Proton's mainstream sales is the Tuah, a neatly styled four-door sedan which is said to preview the next-generation Persona. Its bold front end has LED daytime running lights, and its blistered wheel arches give it an unusually sporting stance.
Proton is also using its home show to reveal the Lekiu, a small SUV crossover that could well be destined for the Chinese market, and the Jebat, a crudely body-kitted take on the Mitsubishi Evo X that features swathes of matt-black plastic at its front and rear.