Proton Arena

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Proton Arena
Proton Arena (solid bed cover) (front), Kuala Lumpur.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Proton
Also called Proton Jumbuck
Production 2002-2010
Body and chassis
Class Pickup truck
Body style 2-door coupé utility
Powertrain
Engine 1.5 L 4G15 I4
Transmission 5-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,600 mm (102.4 in)
Length 4,455 mm (175.4 in)
Width 1,690 mm (66.5 in)
Height 1,420 mm (55.9 in)
Curb weight 1,045 kg (2,304 lb)

The Proton Arena (or the Proton Jumbuck in the United Kingdom, Taiwan and Australia) is a small front wheel drive coupé utility manufactured by Malaysian automaker Proton. Introduced in 2002, the Arena is the only form of pickup by Proton, and is the only Proton model to enjoy significantly more popularity in its export market than domestically.

The suspension configuration of the Arena consists of a combination of independent MacPherson strut suspensions from a saloon car at the front, and torsion beam, leaf sprung suspensions at the rear.[1] Other modifications include the use of a rigid rear axle, an uprated front stabiliser bar, and 14" front ventilated discs and 9" rear drum brakes with load sensing proportioning valves (LSPV), optimised weight distribution and the use of reinforced high profile tyres. Lotus Engineering provided additional ride and handling enhancements.[1]

Similar to the car it is based on, the Arena is powered by a 1.5-litre, 12-valve Electronically Fuel Injected (EFI) Mitsubishi 4G15 engine fitted with Proton's proprietary EMS 400 engine management system.[1] The Arena was proclaimed to have met Europe's Euro 2 emission standards, and was also claimed to provide a good power-and-fuel efficiency balance by producing an output of 60.6 hp (45 kW) per litre and a power-to-weight ratio of 85.2 hp (64 kW) per tonne.[1] While the engine offers a respectable fuel consumption rating (5.8-litre per 100 km on the highway and 8.5-litre per 100 km in the city), it struggles under heavy loads.[citation needed]

Body design[edit]

The Arena is based largely on Proton's Wira/Persona saloon, sharing similar frontal designs of the then current Wira and mechanics, but having a reduced seating capacity of two confined to a Wira-based cabin and featuring a rear cargo bed measuring 1,636 mm (64.4 in) x 1,349 mm (53.1 in) x 415 mm (16.3 in) with a maximum payload of 570 kg (1,257 lb) and a maximum load area of 1.64 m (65 in) x 1.18 m (46 in).[1]

In Malaysia, the Arena is offered in three variants, which features a variety of cargo bed accessories and trims but does not vary mechanically from the export edition:[1]

  • The "Freestyle", the base Arena model with an open bed, exposed metal sports bars, steel rims and hubcaps.
  • The "Sportdeck", an open bed variant similar to the Freestyle with covered sports bars, body trims, and alloy rims.
  • The "Fastback", an upmarket variant with a hard, streamlined tonneau cover-cum-camper shell (resembling a fastback body style), body trims, and alloy rims.

In Australia, the Jumbuck is available in two variants, GLi and GLSi.[2]

Chassis[edit]

Like the Wira, the Arena is of unibody construction, but in order to sustain additional loads from the cargo bed, the Arena includes a load-bearing ladder frame connected to a "torque box" for improved body durability and strength.[1]

Safety Features[edit]

While freely sold in Malaysia, no stringent third-party safety tests on the Arena were conducted or published publicly in the country. In September 2009, the Jumbuck was crash tested by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP). The Jumbuck fared poorly, receiving a one-star rating out of five.[3] The Jumbuck lacks many of the safety features offered in other modern automobiles, such as airbags and anti-lock brakes. The absence of such safety features in an attempt to lower retail pricing is suspected to be one factor for the one-star crash test result.[3] Proton Cars Australia has criticised the choice of the Jumbuck for the test, arguing the vehicle is the last of an old platform and is due for a replacement in the middle of 2010.[3]

Marketing[edit]

In Malaysia, the Arena is often marketed for both commercial and recreational use.[1] The stripped down Freestyle variant is specified to be targeted exclusively for a variety of commercial interests, while the Sportdeck variant is offered for both private owners and businesses. The Fastback variant, the top-of-the-line Arena, is targeted at private owners. While the three Arena variants are advertised as models for specialised tasks, all three models may be used in any way.

Although the Arena is offered in Malaysia, the Arena is not a staple of the local Malaysian market and is mostly an export model (to the UK, Australia and South Africa, where coupé utilities are more marketable). Australia, where the Arena's nearest competitor sells for approximately $8,000 more, is its biggest buyer.[citation needed] It took over a niche left vacant since the demise of the Subaru Brumby.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Models > Arena". proton2020.com. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  2. ^ "Jumbuck | Proton Cars Australia". Proton.com.au. Retrieved 2011-02-06. 
  3. ^ a b c Park, Barry (2008-09-29). "Proton, GWM utes fare poorly in NCAP crash tests". TheAge.com.au. Retrieved 2008-09-30. 

Official websites[edit]