Monday, April 24, 2006

Silky competitor to Proton and Perodua

Another new competitor enters the small car market and it is locally made.

The Naza Sutera, which means 'silk' in Bahasa Malaysia, was launched by the Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on the 22th of April during the ground-breaking ceremony for Naza's new automotive plant on a 103ha site in Bertam, Kepala Batas. The plant is estimated to cost around RM1.3 billion to build.

Styled by Pininfarina of Italy, the concept model was first unveiled in 2002. The platform which orginates in China was further tuned by Lotus Engineering (owned by Proton) to improve ride and handling. The chassis conversion to right-hand-drive and body styling were then carried out by Naza's R&D. people. I think that they have done a much better job than Proton.

The 5-Door hatchback is powered by a 4 cylinder 1.1 litre DOHC 16-valve EFI engine and it has about 75% local content.

The Sutera comes in two models, the Sutera GS and the Sutera GSi. The only difference is that the GSi model comes with reverse parking sensor, silver interior finishing and square chromed exhaust pipe finish. It also has 2 more exclusive colours (Onyx Black and Citrine Yelow). The prices (on-the-road with insurance) are RM35,998 and RM36,998 for the GS and GSi models respectively. At present both models come with a five-speed manual gearbox.

What I found amazing is that dual airbags (driver and passenger) is a standard safety feature. Also standard is the audio system (radio, CD and MP3) with six speakers.

Watch out Savvy, Kelisa, Kenari, MyVi, Swift, etc. etc.

Paul's post has a lot more pictures.

Related News:
- PM challenges Naza to do better than Proton
- Pak Lah: Compete like brothers
- Asean The Initial Market For Naza Sutera
- Naza Sutera To Become Main Rival Of Tata Indicar In South African Market

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