Hold your horses. There should no longer be any talk about an underpowered Proton Exora any more.
Proton has come up with the Exora Bold that carries a more powerful Campro 1.6-litre Charged Fuel Efficiency (CFE) engine with a turbocharger bolted on.
Armchair critics may say that boosting power is a simple job of bolting on a turbocharger. If you are a street racer, you can bolt on anything and get away with it.
However, it’s important to note that as a responsible bona fide carmaker, Proton has to comply with a multitude of things besides just the bolt-on job.
Proton has made several changes to the engine: worked out a lower compression ratio, installed new water jacket, new con-rod, crank shaft and, of course, the BorgWarner KP39 Low Inertia Turbo unit.
The CFE gets an additional 0.75 bar of boost over the atmospheric pressure after 2,000rpm, which can get a maximum power of 138hp, more horsepower than the previous engine that churned out 125hp.
The needle on the speedometer went up to 190km/h, on a private road naturally, and even with seven aboard, the Exora CFE handled the Kuala Klawang route with gusto.
The CVT transmission further promoted smooth power delivery and excited as torque was readily available from as low as 2,000rpm. Maximum torque is 205Nm, a distinct improvement from the 150Nm of the old Exora.
With the help of the Punch CVT system and a new VVT setting, you still get a torquey feel at lower rpm. After driving it for six days, we felt minimal turbo lag or turbo kick. The CFE engine felt like a naturally aspirated one with some fancy valve technology system employed.
The CFE engine is definitely worth waiting for. Installing it in an MPV weighing almost two tonnes proves that the engine is capable of good power delivery.
Apart from its roll-on acceleration that is quite addictive, fuel consumption remains good. It is thirstier than the normal Campro CPS version, but if you are gentle with the accelerator, fuel usage can be as low as 7.8l/100km.
However, we only managed around 8.2-litre/100km, which is good considering the amount of extra power you get from the CFE engine.
It’s not just the CFE engine that will make you happy. The interior has a better look thanks to the darker shade of plastics and higher grade of leather used.
Standard in the Bold are the DVD player and air-conditioner vents for all rows, different dashboard inserts, plus LCD screens on the back of both front seats.
The higher specced Prime sees a six-seater layout, one seat being sacrificed in the second row to allow for a pair of captain seats.
The Exora was touted as the MPV that met the market’s needs when it was first launched. With the CFE engine, the overall performance of the Exora is one to be reckoned with.
Now, can we have the CFE engine in the Satria Neo and the Persona too?
- Engine: 1.6 litre turbocharged DOHC 16-valve VVT inline-four
- Max power: 138hp @ 5,000rpm at 6500 rpm
- Max torque: 205Nm @ 2,000rpm - 4,000rpm
- Transmission: CVT
- Safety features: ABS, EBD, twin SRS airbags, pre-tensioner seatbelts
- Price: RM79,998