PROTON HAS ANNOUNCED that it will launch its S16 small sedan here on December 1, at a cost of just $11,990 drive away. This will make it the cheapest car in the Australian market.
A base price of under $13,000 was originally postulated by Proton, however favourable exchange rates, thanks to a high Aussie dollar, have enabled the Malaysian manufacturer to trim the entry price even further.
"[The] S16 will be the only new four door sedan available in Australia for less than $16,000 and will outpoint low-cost hatches and three-door models by offering a 1.6 litre engine and great equipment levels," said Proton Australia's general manager of sales, Billy Falconer.
The S16 will initially be available only in base GX manual form, with the GX auto joining it in February 2010. However, don't expect the $11,990 price-tag to last: the S16 range will be updated in July next year, with GX models gaining more equipment and an upper-spec GXR model being added to the range.
The S16 will be powered by an 82kW 1.6 litre petrol four-cylinder engine which Proton claims consumes just 6.3 litres of fuel per 100km on the combined cycle.
Air conditioning, power steering, remote central locking and a driver's airbag will be offered on the GX, and all S16 models boast a sizable 413 litre boot volume
Dual Airbags and ABS won't be offered as standard equipment on the S16 GX, but will make it onto the GXR's standard spec sheet. The GXR will also get alloy wheels, foglamps and reverse parking sensors.
Full specifications and pricing for the S16 range will be released at the car's launch on December 1.