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Proton Gen-2 facelift (2008): first photos

Thu, 10 Jul 2008

By Tim Pollard

First Official Pictures

10 July 2008 06:49

Proton has published the first details of its revised Gen-2 small car. It's not the most radical of facelifts, but the Gen-2 gains new exterior detailing including front and rear skirts, a new rear spoiler, redesigned alloy wheels, bumper and grille, plus distinctive, smoke-blacked headlamps.

Inside, Proton spotters will recognise fresh red trim splattered around the cabin, a redesigned dashboard and handbrake (thank goodness – the last one pinched your fingers on occasion). GLS models come with cloth trim, while upgraded GSX spec means leather seats.

So it's a very minor facelift for the Proton Gen-2, then?

Yes. The moment you start reading about central locking, remote boot releases and repositioned electric window switches (moved to the doors, since you ask), you know you're in a 'door-handle facelift' territory. You even get reverse parking sensors, which speaks volumes for this car's target market.

The supermini from Lotus

Still, the Malaysian-built Gen-2 has always had an interesting provenance, being designed and engineered partly with the help of Proton subsidiary Lotus.

The Gen-2 comes with the choice of 1.3- or 1.6-litre four-cylinder power, both CamPro engines engineered at Hethel. They even attempted to breathe a small dose of Elise magic on the chassis.

But we suspect more buyers will be interested in the six-year/100,000-mile warranty and prices kicking off from £8995 (although there are currently cashback deals of up to £1000.

Would you have one of these? Or would you rather buy a second-hand mainstream 'mini?

By Tim Pollard