By Brendan Moore
Proton has ended speculation on whether their Emas vehicle concept is actually going anywhere with the news that it intends to sell versions of the car in Europe within the next three years.
The plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid minicar, whose name means “gold” in the Malay language, also has a meaning derived from the acronym in its name – it simultaneously stands for Eco Mobility Advance Solution. There are three different body styles: the standard model is a five-door four-seat hatchback, the Emas Country is a three-door five-seat hatch and the Emas3 is an urban vehicle with a three-plus-one seating arrangement. The cars will be produced with both hybrid and regular gasoline engines.
The hybrid is one model in the new Emas family, developed in tandem with Italdesign Giugiaro. Lotus Engineering, owned by Proton developed the hybrid powertrain. The hybrid system includes a 51 bhp, 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine that can burn petrol, ethanol, methanol or natural gas.
Proton says it plans to build approximately 150,000 units of the car in Malaysia, which will be sold in most global markets, with the exception of North America. The company expects the gas engine car to cost around 10,000 euros ($13,650 USD), with the hybrid version coming in at a higher price of 14,000 euros.
Proton is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The Malaysian vehicle manufacturer has produced over three million vehicles during its existence, but has never been able to sell too many cars outside of Asia. The company is diligently trying to improve its geographic reach.