1995-1996 Proton Wira XLi sedan
|Also called||Proton Persona
Proton 400 Series
Early 1993 - June 2009952,216 units sold
|Assembly||Malaysia: Shah Alam (PONSB)
Indonesia: Cikarang (PCI)
Iran: Borujerd (Zagross Khodro)
Philippines: Alaminos (PPC)
Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City (Vinastar)
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Compact car / C-segment|
|Body style||4-door saloon
|Layout||Front-engine, front-wheel drive|
|Related||Based on :
4th generation Mitsubishi Lancer
|Engine||1.3 L 4G13 SOHC I4 (petrol)
1.5 L 4G15 SOHC I4 (petrol)
1.5 L 4G91 DOHC I4 (petrol)
1.6 L 4G92 SOHC I4 (petrol)
1.8 L 4G93 SOHC I4 (petrol)
1.8 L 4G93 DOHC I4 (petrol)
2.0 L 4D68 I4 (diesel)
2.0 L 4D68 I4 (turbo-diesel)
|Transmission||3-speed automatic (4G1 Series)
4-speed automatic (4G9 Series)
|Wheelbase||2,500 mm (98.4 in)|
|Length||4,270 mm (168.1 in)|
|Width||1,680 mm (66.1 in)|
|Height||1,385 mm (54.5 in)|
|Kerb weight||980 kg (2,160.5 lb) - 1,011 kg (2,228.9 lb)|
The Proton Wira (Malay, "hero"), also known as the Proton Persona (C90), is a car manufactured by Malaysian carmaker Proton from 1993 to 2009. It was produced in four-door saloon and five-door hatchback models, and is based on the Mitsubishi Lancer platform.
Proton made minor changes to the taillights, bumpers, and dashboard. Five trim levels were available. The 1.6 and 1.8-litre model (4G92/4G93) were equipped with rear disc brakes, front and rear armrests, electric mirrors, folding rear seats, electric windows on all doors, and a high-quality interior. Proton redesigned the saloon to make a five-door hatchback variant during the mid-1990s, basing the car on the saloon Wira and sporting similar tail lights.
The entry level 1.3 and 1.5-litre models lack some of the features of the 1.6 and 1.8-litre models to cut down costs and thus lower the list price. They used 4G13 and 4G15 engines. The early models used carburetors; in 1998 Proton replaced them with electronic fuel injection (EFI). However, in 2001, Proton replaced the Mitsubishi EFi module with a Siemens VDO unit claimed to cause slight power loss.
In 2000, the interior trim of all Wira models changed to grey; same with the seats material had been changed to new softer batik like designs.
The Wira was to be replaced by two similar in house designed Proton cars: the Gen-2 (launched in 2004 to replace the "Aeroback" hatchback variant) and the Persona (launched in 2007 to replace the saloon variant). The Waja, a saloon compact, was also launched in 2001 as an earlier successor to the Wira saloon, but currently caters slightly towards more upmarket demand, below the Perdana.
Development of a second, all new Proton model began as early as the middle of 1988. The Wira was introduced in June 1993 as a four-door saloon, based on the CB2A-CB4A-CD9A platform shared with the 1992 Mitsubishi Lancer, with slightly modified styling to distinguish it. Modifications include headlights from the 1992 Colt, tail lights from the 1987 Galant hatchback, bumpers from the Mirage, and a different dashboard.
The frontal design continues the styling first shown in the Proton Iswara with a fluted bonnet that tapers towards the Proton badge on the grill. In November 1993, a five-door hatchback version (initially badged as the Wira Aeroback, in a similar fashion as the five door Saga hatchback) was introduced.
A minor facelift for all new Wira variants was introduced in 1995, with a new grille and slimmer tail lights with clear indicators. Other minor changes were made on the interior, grille design and bumpers during the end of the 1990s and the middle of the 2000s. While having undergone three minor reiterations, the general design of the Wira has, for more than a decade, remained mostly the same.
In 2004, Proton introduced the Wira Special Edition or WiSE, and planned to manufacture an estimated 100,000 units, but failed to meet sales targets.
The WiSE models were released in different periods of the Wira's life cycle as the Aeroback variant, with sportier accessories such as full bodykits, redesigned interiors and an option for an aluminium spoiler. Later that year, all the Wira and Satria variants included the same front bumper as the WiSE.
Several Proton models released following the Wira's debut sported frontal stylings that were derivatives of the Wira's. Among them, the original Satria three door hatchback, the Putra two door "sports" coupé, and the Arena coupe utility.
In an attempt to find a suitable successor to the Wira, the Gen-2, a hatchback codenamed the Wira Replacement Model, was designed and developed in house by Proton, and was launched in 2004. In August 2007, the Persona, a new sedan model directly based on the Gen-2, was introduced. Its introduction is seen as a legitimate replacement for the Proton Wira range.
The last Proton Wiras were produced in June 2009. Proton sold 14,908 units of the Wira in Malaysia for 2007, and a further 1,907 and 1,974 were sold in 2008 and 2009 respectively. The last Proton Wiras were registered as late as 2012 in the Malaysian market. Additionally, the last two Proton Wiras were registered in the United Kingdom in 2006, and 76 Wiras were sold in Indonesia in 2010. The last three units of the Iranian assembled Wira were sold in 2011.
In its first series, a 1.3 litre twelve valve engine was available on basic-specification Proton Wiras. The Mitsubishi 4G15 1.5-litre 12-valve engine used in the Iswara and its predecessor the Saga was carried over unchanged. The Mitsubishi 4G92 113 PS (83 kW; 111 hp) 1.6L 16 valve SOHC engine with multi-point fuel injection was introduced together with an optional four speed automatic transmission (and power windows for all four doors), a first in Proton's history.
The multi point injection versions were badged as MPi, although this was only used on the engine, and never on the trim levels (unlike 1.5 MPi GLS in the previous car, the Saga, the trim levels were simply 1.5 GLS and so forth). Additionally, a small number of Wira units were exported with the twin cam 4G91 1.5L.
In 1995, the Mitsubishi 4G13 1.3 litre twelve valve engine also used in the Saga was introduced for the Wira. This was followed in 1996 by the 133 bhp (99 kW) 1.8L 16 valve DOHC engine with multi point fuel injection, making Wira a first Proton car to be powered by a DOHC engine.
At the same time, a 2.0 litre diesel powered variant (badged as the 2.0D, D, TD, TDi or SDi depending on the market) was also offered, but was later phased out in later years due to lack of interest from consumers, as a result of a road tax rate which was higher on diesel-powered private vehicles than gasoline-powered ones of equivalent displacement (until the tax was revised in 2008). From 1999, all engine options for the Wira in Malaysian market were fuel-injected and carburettor models were phased out.
In 2001, the Wira received suspension tuning from Lotus.
Like most other Proton cars of its time, the Proton Wira did not offer any safety features other than the standard three-point safety belts with pretensioners and laminated windshield. Export models however saw a much better build quality with safety features such as a driver airbag, door intrusion bars and ABS, which were also available as options in the later Malaysian models.
The Wira was the first Proton to be produced in both left and right hand drive configurations, and it remains the company's most widely exported model to date, spanning over seventy countries in Asia, Australasia, Europe, Africa, The Middle East and Latin America.
The Wira was also the first Proton to be assembled outside its home country, Malaysia. It was assembled in neighbouring Indonesia,Vietnam and Philippines, as well as Iran. Proton had planned to assemble the Wira in India, Egypt and other markets, but was held back by the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
The Wira saw its British debut in November 1993, where it was renamed 'Proton Persona'. The Persona effectively replaced the original Proton and the Mpi facelift in the British market, although both Mpi and Persona models were sold in parallel for a further three years, until Mpi imports ended in 1996. As with the Mpi, the Persona used multi point fuel injection to comply with the Euro emissions standards.
Between 2001 and 2004, the Wira in the UK used VDO-Siemens engine management systems. The sedan was offered with two variants: 1.3 Li and 1.5 Lxi while the aeroback was offed with four variants: 1.3 Li, 1.5 Lxi, 1.5 Lux and 1.6 Exi.
The Persona was later complemented by a three-door hatch called the Persona Compact, as well as the two door Persona Coupé. From August 2000, the Satria and Wira nameplates were extended to the British market, and the Coupé was discontinued there when production ended in 2001. The Wira was subsequently replaced by the all new Proton GENo2 in the end of 2004.
The Wira is the only Proton model to be offered with a diesel engine, namely Mitsubishi's 2.0 L Sirius 4D68 in-line four engine. Proton needed a diesel engine to further establish themselves in Europe, where diesel engined passenger cars are popular. The 4D68 diesel was produced in both naturally aspirated and turbocharged offerings, where the former produced 64 hp and the latter managed 80 hp.
However, the turbocharged 4D68 could produce 172 Nm of torque, more than any other engine offered in the Wira range, and compared to just 123 Nm without the turbocharger. Most European markets received the turbo diesel, but a handful, such as Germany received the naturally aspirated diesel as well, in both four door and five door guises. In Malaysia, Proton sold the naturally aspirated diesel as the Wira 2.0D, but it was limited to the four door sedan.