Riding on the success of the inaugural 1 Tank Adventure event last year, PROTON today flagged off the second edition from the PROTON Centre of Excellence. The event invites Proton car owners to experience the sights, sounds and cuisin of Malaysia while driving economically.
The eco-driving challenge offers over MYR100,000 worth of prizes and involves three preliminary rounds and a grand final. Participants include owners of the 2019 Proton Iriz, Persona and Saga, as well as invited media members and celebrities.
The inaugural competition focused mainly on routes in Peninsular Malaysia, but the 2019 edition will also include one round each in Sabah and Sarawak. The grand final will see participants embark on an epic journey—from Kota Bharu, Kelantan to Johor Bahru, Johor, with a single tank of fuel.
One of the main objectives of the challenge is to showcase the real world fuel efficiency of the current range of Proton cars. Participants are tasked to drive their cars over a variety of roads and traffic conditions, with the aim of delivering fuel economy figures that can be replicated by other owners on a daily basis. This time around, participants also had another unexpected challenge to face—the haze.
All three 2019 Proton models include ECO Drive Assist, an ECO indicator lamp that activates to denote that a driver is driving economically. Depending on the car model, ECO drive indicator will generally engage when these conditions are met: the accelerator pedal is between 0-55 percent; gear position in D and in higher range gears; engine speed of between 1,300rpm-3,500rpm.
The 1 Tank Adventure is also the perfect platform to showcase the new features, enhancements and improvements PROTON has made to the 2019 Iriz, Persona, and Saga. PROTON has upped build quality and value substantially—incorporating the Hi PROTON! voice command system first seen on the Proton X70; adding internet connectivity; creating a variant with the most comprehensive safety equipment list for a car priced below MYR40,000. All three cars also have a ASEAN NCAP safety rating (5-Star for Persona and Iriz, 4-Star for Saga). The cars also feature PROTON’s signature ride and handling, delivering a comfortable and assuring ride and fun to drive experience.
This year’s competition is even more challenging. Split into two days, with three checkpoints on Day One, participants are encouraged to “drive as they would normally,” i.e. 70-80km/h (adhering to the speed limit, of course) and not be “hyper-miling” by driving at unusually low speeds. By incorporating cut-off times for each checkpoints, participants must check-in at respective checkpoints within a stipulated time. So, no crawling and holding up traffic at 40-50km/h.
I was part of Leg 1 of the 2019 PROTON 1 Tank Adventure consisting of 18 customer cars and 12 media cars. Driving the Iriz, I was paired with Sharifah Eena Houzyama, Chief Editor of Her Inspirasi and Her World magazine. Day 1 would cover over 450kms—a journey that would take us from Kuala Lumpur to Johor Bahru. Day 2 would be 200kms, for a total of close 700kms, on a single tank of fuel. Gruelling. I’ll leave a full account of our adventure for my next post, with driving impressions in the 2019 Iriz as well.
2019 Saga: An icon grows up
From its humble beginnings, Malaysia’s first national car has become an icon and pride of the nation. Throughout its lifespan of 34 years, over 2,000,000 units have been delivered to Malaysia and export markets. The 2019 Saga has grown up nicely—much more polished and now comprehensively restyled. It also includes a 7-inch colour touchscreen, something you would not see in a car in its class and price bracket. In just over a month since its launch, more than 13,000 booking have already been made.
2019 Persona: Stylish, connected family car
The Proton Persona is the best-selling B-segment sedan for June and July this year—selling over 11,000 units since it was launched on 23 April 2019. With a snazzier new exterior design and a corporate face consistent with other Proton models, the 2019 Persona also includes an intelligent infotainments system, a first-in-class feature. With an embedded eSIM card, it enables music streaming, online navigation and voice recognition via the 7-inch colour touchscreen display.
2019 Iriz: Sporty hatch
The new Iriz gets 367 changes over its predecessor, including aggressive new styling at the front and rear. The new ethereal bow and infinite weave grille are exterior standouts, while the inside cabin features improved quality and refinement with high equipment levels. The new Iriz has won new fans, as in reflected in sales increasing by three times over its predecessor.