A prelude to the "real" PerdanaThere are many Honda worshipers in Malaysia. If you happen to be one but have no love for your own national car, my condolences. Because the collaboration between the two must have left you quite disenchanted aka peeved. But if you, like me, believe in Proton and at the same time admire the Honda, and can see their synergies, then the prospects from this kerjasama should excite you. Especially if you know that this Perdana (pic), which is an Accord rebadged as a Proton, is NOT their only or last project together.
In fact, this Perdana is a "prelude" (remember Honda's iconic model?) to an all-new, all-Proton, based on Accord platform, Perdana by 2015. Also on the cards are data, tech and inventory sharing, a Honda-Proton smaller car, and the introduction of an all-Malaysian, all-Petronas engine in future cars made by Proton-Honda, which may include hybrids.
Honda Prelude: My ex-dream carAs for the rebadged Perdana launched on 11.12.13, it is an awfully awesome car. We were told at a briefing in Shah Alam last Friday that there are 17 changes made to the Accord, mostly - but not all - cosmetics. On the 2.0L version, for example, the Perdana is fitted with FOUR airbags instead of the original Accord's TWO (this Volvo-like obsession in safety aspects is something Proton will emphasize in future cars). I especially like the Proton DNA on the front end - handsomer than the Accord, IMHO. Under that hood, no changes made - it's Honda engine, tech and reliability down to the last nut and bolt. Even the H.O.N.D.A inscription on the engine block is left untouched.
My only gripe is the fact that it is meant ONLY for the Government. ie it will not be offered to members of the public who believe in Proton and admire Honda. Unfair and illogical. I was driving the Perdana for years (after the Saga, the Aeroback, and the Wira) before it was stolen from in front of the house. I have been waiting for a Perdana replacement ever since. Proton and Honda should consider offering it to the public (at Proton prices, of course).
The national car manufacturer is making some 3,000 units and they are meant for senior civil servants, deputy ministers, Cabinet Ministers plus 3 specially made stretched version for the PM, the DPM and Proton Adviser Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The "real" Perdana will be launched end 2015 or early 2016. I, for one, will start saving up for that turning point.