Proton's latest Malaysian invasion into the UK, the nippy little Savvy, now has a price and an on-sale date. According to Carpages UK, the subcompact will mix it up with the Chevrolet Sparks and Kia Picantos in the shallow end of the automotive pool. Starting at a reasonable £5,995 for the basic Street package (including standard-fit anti-lock brakes, cd player, and... rather oddly, rear parking distance sensors) and ranging up to the £6,995 (about $12,200 USD) 'Style' version, which adds air-con with pollen filter and alloy wheels.
While still a little oddly styled, the Savvy easily represents Proton's most aesthetically-pleasing effort for the segment yet, with interesting touches like the Ford F-Series-like drop sill, quad-element halogen lamps, clamshell hood and center-exit exhaust.
Savvy motivation arrives courtesy Renault’s D4F1.2L mill, a drive-by-wire SOHC unit with four-valve-per-cylinder-- the same engine also beds down under the hood of the Twingo and Clio II. The transmissions also speak French, with a standard 5-speed manual offered ‘out of the box’ and an optional clutchless manual (Renault’s Quickshift unit) coming on stream in a few months.
With Proton's impressive-for-the-UK 3-year/60,000km warranty, competitive pricing and bold looks, the Savvy may just overcome Proton's decidedly checkered reputation in Blighty.