TURIN – Italdesign Giugiaro today unveiled a five-door hybrid hatchback concept that could become the smallest car offered by Malaysian automaker Proton.
The concept, which will be unveiled at the Geneva auto show next month, is part of a range of environment-friendly compact hybrids that Proton and Italdesign Giugiaro plan to co-develop. The cars are scheduled to meet global standards and play a key role in the small Asian automaker's plan to expand its footprint. Proton has built more than 3 million vehicles during its 25-year history but this would be its first hybrid.
So far, Italdesign Giugiaro only has released an image of one of the vehicles designed for Proton. The five-door, four-seat hatchback is 3550mm long, which is about the same size as a Fiat Panda minicar.
Other body configurations, such as a three-door variant, are due to be shown in Geneva next month.
The car range is supposed to feature models that emit few emissions but provide superior functionality.
“Our aim was to offer the interior space of a medium-sized car while keeping the overall exterior dimensions of a small car,” Italdesign Giugiaro Chairman Giorgetto Giugiaro said in a statement.
Italdesign Giugiaro created a specific platform for the new car range, which features a raised floor that can accommodate the hybrid system's batteries in the rear. The higher position of the four independently adjustable, sliding seats allows passengers to fully enjoy the interior roominess.
The car's hybrid system features a front-mounted endothermic engine that is used to recharge the lithium-ion batteries. The drivetrain is fully electric.