Good news for fans of Proton as the company has announced name of the new Proton MPV model, the Proton Exora. The name of the Proton Exora came from grand prize winner Norsholihan Bt Abdul Eanich’s entry for the ‘Name The Proton MPV’ competition. It will be built over the Shah Alam plant and is expected to be launched in April with pricing to be under RM80,000.

The exterior of the new Proton Exora does bear some resemblance to the Toyota Wish but with some variations. The 7-seater has 5-spoke alloy wheels and its signal indicators on its side mirrors. The rear hatch is also noted to opens upwards instead of opening sideways. The tail lamps are also now fitted with LEDs.

On its interior, there’s nothing new here however, the one thing that is different is that its gear lever is dash-mounted much like the Honda CR-V. With addition to that, the steering wheel has audio controls and a phone button which could only mean a Bluetooth hands-free system on some variants of the model. The in-car entertainment is a 2-DIN unit located at the top of the centre dash area directly below the aircond vents. One feature all variants will have is the two SRS airbags as a standard. The colour of the interior has yet to be finalized but could either be beige or grey.

With a 7-seater, luggage space is essential and in the Exora, it doesn’t exactly have a large space with the third row seats in place. So in a ride with 7 people on, the biggest challenge would be fitting in luggages for all 7 of them.

The Proton Exora will be available in 5 colours namely Genetic Silver, Tranquility Black, Blue Haze, Pyrite Brown and Gaia Blue.

Proton has mentioned that for initial production, they will produce between 3000 to 3500 units monthly. With the launch in Malaysia to be in April, the next phase would be to start exporting to markets in Thailand and Indonesia by July. For those interested in buying the new model, bookings will be opened on 21 st February 2009 with a fee of RM1,000.