The Proton Saga RED Show Car

Saga RED top view 

A project to showcase what is possible. Let nobody say we can’t do wow designs in record time; less than a month to be exact. What is it all about you may ask? It challenges the very concept of the new Proton Saga, which is about practicality & affordability i.e the car for the people. Nope, the RED is anything but.

RED has more than one meaning. One is explained below. Another is about the striking exterior colour (9 paint layers right there). One other reason is to pay hommage to the hugely popular original red Saga. Do be informed that RED is not another division or department within Proton. The development & design of this car is the brainchild of Proton Design; the commercial name of Proton’s very own Styling Department.

RED is about being inventive and creative with a basic blueprint. A RM30,000 car can always be pimped but can it be done with style so as not be too bling-bling? The base new Saga’s visual language is done is such a way that it is easy to tastefully mod it inexpensively. The Saga RED proves this point.


The design concept is Sporty Executive therefore it shouldn’t simply evolve the current style. It should break convention and stir up emotions. Brash but restrained. Cool tidings.


It does just that; enhances the visual emotions connected to the new Saga. Guaranteed to surprise even the most hardened detractor. It doesn’t shout to be avant-garde; different enough to have its own ‘Wow’ factor, similar enough with what we are used to so as not to be alien.


This is what RED is all about. An execution of beautiful design in a smart package. A sports executive hot saloon with looks to amaze and a proposition so appealing it will surely be copied to no end. Do pass us the credits ‘kay!

The change items for RED is very simple but effective. The mirror like exterior colour specially developed for this car is called Candy Red. It has almost no visible mica pigments and the red colour you see is actually due to the tinted super clear top coat. The silver like finishing is also special in that it is also used on the Porsche Cayenne. It’s called Galvano and is attractive because of its satin quality. The wheels are a monstrous 17″ Ultraleggera OZ super lightweight alloys with Continental rubber. To further enhance its stance, the car is lowered with a set of Proton R3 sport springs (also in red!). Other fine touches are the blacked out headlamps and the blood red rear combi lamps. The exterior is completed with an awesome bodykit designed in-house. The interior? Cool leather & alcantara seats give a luxury ambiance while the all-round soft feel paint job matts down the plastics to give it a leather-like feel. To contrast this matt look, we painted the instrument panel centre plus a bit of the door in Dark Galvano just to introduce a bit of a cool metal look. Don’t forget to have a look at the motorized single DIN head unit by Clarion. Features a 7″ touch screen, DVD/CD/MP3 player and is iPod ready… cool.

Who would have thought this was possible with a car so affordable? I’ll let you view the photos and pass your own judgement. One thing is for sure, I’m proud to be part of the team that created this car. My designers have done a brilliant job; the countless extra hours, late nights and lost weekends have all come to fruition and this is the result of our labour. Rohadi “Bachookk” AR and Norhelmey “Lobbo” Lobb SL, my sincere congratulations to you! I’m looking forward to the next show already! *wink2*

Saga RED designers
Adiey, Lobb and me just before sending the car to KLCC.
With Proton MD later after the launch
With Proton MD Dato’ Syed Zainal prior to the Road Show

*it’s worth noting that Mr. MD is so impressed with the car that he drove it around town the very night after the launch. To think, the show car wasn’t supposed to be extensively driveable in the first place!


53 thoughts on “The Proton Saga RED Show Car

  1. hi azlano,

    firstly would like to congratulate the PROTON DESIGN team on the Saga RED. The new ideas put in really made the small car looks amazing. I have a red original saga too (1985 orion to be exact), and it creates a feeling of ‘connection’ to this design concept.

    was very excited to discover this blog (albeit being so late) as it is really tough to find a site with information on Proton family and products. (I’m proud to say I have been a PROTON enthusiast ever since I saw the 1991 silver Proton Iswara 1.5I sedan).

    would like to ask something that has been pondering me for quite sometime. May I know the Proton design direction/theme in early era (saga/iswara/wira). Although being rebadged Mitsu cars, I think Proton has put in numerous effort in giving the car a different look. My observation is some sort of smart looking without being too soft or too aggressive (while Mitsu being smart looking but a little on the aggressive side). Am I in the right direction? Sorry if this is the wrong place to ask.

    Again, thank you very much for bring us this fantastic blog space. And also thank you for reading this response.

  2. yiheng -> TQ! TQ! i’m sorry but i’m unable to enlighten you wrt to the early days as it was beyond my time! but i can say it was justified for the requirements of the time (rebadging) and now we have to move forward. NEW STYLING by Proton Design is an exciting way of bringing style back to Proton cars. For now it will be practical and customer oriented. Very chic, with subtle avantgarde cues to excite our customers. Join us for the ride k!

    amad -> will try to do that soon!

  3. woooo….thinking of getting one for HM laa like this….looks cool…come to think that you’ll get one, plus all the upgrades, well below 50k…

    well done to you and team!

  4. Thanks for the reply azlano. Will certainly look forward to future PROTONs. I really like the Persona and new Saga a lot, especially in the form of Persona Envy. Too bad I couldn’t afford one and got a Savvy instead. it’s a good car too, with very beautiful lines and details if observed carefully.

    Thanks again. Hope you have had an enjoyable Sunday 🙂

  5. hi azlano…nice design for this new SAGA model concept…im interest with this new SAGA and will be my second future car…

    im still drive proton tiara and on process to redesign exterior part with my AXTAC team…complete without paint end of this month…does proton also do some modification proton tiara concept or tiara r3…???if had…can u upload the picture…???

    and last question…do u have any information for proton’s day that had been done last two year on 2006…


  6. well done guys , is this for high line version , if yes i will wait until this version come out .. any way nice job there i very proud of you guys

  7. azlano,

    Is the paint color “candy red” is a pearl type paint? Looks very fresh.

    What type of paint brand? Standox, Dupont?

    9 paint layers? Waah, u got to be kidding. Does that include the 2K coating?

  8. kudos to proton,

    the SAGA RED look good… and i’m placing booking soon….

    and i wanted to get the R3 sport spring and the skirting too…

    will u guys make it available to public rather than the concept car… coz what a waste….! such beauty

  9. nice job!well done for Proton team.This car is really cool especially in terms of design.I just wonder if its quality will be at the same with its design.Hopefully it will

  10. amar -> tq bro!

    kekure -> good luck with your Tiara. sorry coz Proton stopped designing for that car yonks go! no word yet on when the next Open Day will be held (don’t hold your breath!)…

    LANE -> nope, this isn’t H-line (that’s coming later). this is only a show car to show what’s possible!

    normaluser -> the exterior paint is not pearl. it’s not really metallic either. i’d rather describe it as SATIN or MIRROR finish. it’s originally formulated by a German paint company but have been localised by a Japanese. the 9 layers include the top coat(s)!

    teedoq -> if the response to RED continues to be positive then we will surely consider to sell the customized body kits!

    KiboT.G -> i hope so too! tq!

    aaron tan -> i’ll see what i can cook up! 😉


  11. I wonder the quality, because i went for the show car, the exterior iron since like very thin? but i think the interior plastic had improve. What comment? What about the engine? Because i saw few satria neo break down, heard the model having problems with the engine, just depend on lucks, anyway all the best for new saga.

  12. i just saw some pictures at Just a little opinion, I noticed that on the front grille, there are some sections where the ‘honeycomb’ was not ‘hollow’. i think it might look more complete if the centre piece is painted in black 🙂

    just my 2 cents opinion 🙂

  13. kumanz -> the OZ wheels cost about RM5.5k but you can always haggle!

    daren -> a lot of initiatives have put in place to solve past quality issues but it will take time. i can’t comment further than that as it is not in my authority to do so. however, design wise we have really concentrated to give the best at that price range. i’m sure you’re aware that even BMW and Merc have mechanical & quality problems for every car they launch!

    yiheng -> point taken! ;P

  14. Dear azlano,

    What do you think about M.D, Dato Syed Zainal?
    I mean, do you think he is better than Tengku Mahalel? What are the difference that he bring into proton compare to Tengku Mahalel? Does he try to improve the quality of proton’s car? As an outsider I really think he is the right person to lead proton to become a global player in auto industry. Do you think so?

  15. Good, no GREAT work Azlano. Lah.

    But then that’s what I expect from my best former employee. Or my former best employee, I’m not sure which. You choose.



  16. hi,

    very interesting, but how proton design fit in the rim into this car. hope u can give some information about that rim, tyre and modification to fit in that rim. I’m really want this rim into my savvy.

  17. alone -> are you serious?! look, every leader has his own style and approach. everyone has achieved success and experienced failure. what’s important is that we continue to move forward to better ourselves.

  18. u guys rock!
    u juz made my jaw drop!!
    and i’m starting to drool!!!
    can u guys tell me how much all this extra excitement cost?
    hav to start saving up all the cents….

  19. mohdazizee -> it’s quite simple… you take the wheel and screw it in place! 🙂 but really, i don’t recommend you to use 17″ alloys UNLESS you want to modify the splash shield. the tyres will touch the splash shield at maximum turn.

  20. looks pretty, you guys must be proud of yourselves. How much will it cost to add another airbag(s) and ABS with EBD to SAGA (and Savvy)? I heard that you must install it at Proton to retain the warranty.

  21. dear azlano,

    do u hav any latest update on the bodykit availability to the public market? i really like the skirting and especialy the spoiler and side mirror… normal m-line shud come with a signal indicator side mirrors, then tat will be very perfect dy…

    pls share if u hav any updates on this…

    thanks a lot and WELL DONE on the designs!!

  22. hafiz -> i don’t think you can do those installations after you buy the car. safety items have to be installed online and in sequence or else they won’t be warranted.

    xmsnard -> i think by now our ‘Brothers’ shop and every other mod specialist in Sunway have copied the RED’s kit 😉 … but be forewarned those items do not have Proton’s seal of approval!

    kamal -> no info at the moment… but there’s no need to wait, get yourself a Saga M-line and do one yourself!

    karmsakura -> we shall see. btw, i can’t view your image, for some reason.

  23. how about waja new facelift, did you design it, how much % the exterior will be change. i hope they hav a really new facelift.

  24. Congrads Azlan and your team…I strongly believed this RED car is having strong enthusiast from customers. Proton should tap this opportunity to produce it as another option to current Proton Saga range. Make it as another production car. I myself would encourage this. Please gather market pull starting now.

    Make it as poduction unit would lower per unit cost of this car and consequently will attract more buyer.

  25. fivezal -> in time, you will be mesmerized…

    Radzz…Iowa..USA -> if anything, RED will be spun off as a limited or special edition. IF… proper study needs to be done to see if it makes a profitable business case.

    mohdjiman -> 17’s will fit BUT i won’t recommend it.. but it sure makes the car look good! the choice is yours!

  26. azlina -> err.. me thinks there are clues all over this blog! anyway, the answer to your q is a resounding ‘yes’ 😉

  27. i wonder whatever happened to neo desire.. neo r3.. you guys should really let those mean machines free for the public.. mass produce it.. well for a certain amount..

    oh btw… were you involved in the neo desire project.. cuz that is one sick ride!.. and neo r3.. ooowhh have mercy!

  28. jufy joop -> the Desire is doing fine, thanks for asking 😉 … it’s been moved from show to show all over the world in a bid to showcase Proton’s capabilities. unlike RED, this car can never be reproduced without severely compromising its design integrity. it’s just too unique… yes, Desire was also my brainchild but it was Proton Design that made it a reality.

  29. Hi Azlano,

    I am actually working for the same company as you.

    I believe that the timing is not right to show this RED to the public.

    I am not so sure what were the reasons but from this blog I would assume that this is to show to the public that Proton is capable to produce such thing.

    But to me, the timing is just not right…

  30. oranggila -> you really should change your nick! 🙂

    nazri -> the problem with NGV is the infrastructure to support users; there’s just not enough to support en masse. currently only commercial cars are applicable…

  31. how i wish proton savvy doesnt have the stepped waist line..just like the saga…..

    for some reason i am still prefer savvy hatch look….but the stepped waistline made me think twice…now i cant make a decision….


    1. maru,
      steped rear door is well justify for savy. it meant to be savy. and it composed.
      savvy is a character car from proton.

  32. if u guys r going for a saga facelift in the future, i suggest a wider looking front bumper. from VW golf gti 07 to CW golf gti 2010. it will look good to compensate the narrower and bulbous body.



    1. Thanks for your ideas. We have in fact thought about the same thing but we can’t just analyse things in isolation from the rest of the body. There should be harmony in design.

  33. It would be nicer if some of those silver painted parts being replaced with chrome plating, what do you reckon?
    And may I know the reason why proton design always ignore some small/simple detailing which actually can make a big difference in enhancing the total design outlook. For instance the colour scheme of Exora’s steering plastic part-the darker tone of gray will suited it better. Plus it won’t look too cheap. And the Proton logo should be highlighted in chrome plating. You know… some details……

  34. azlano,
    really is that proton saga will have its facelift ? when?

    i would suggest one of the clue design taken from satria neo cps , the lower intake ,the wide A shape for its lower intake. doesnt mean to be copied simmilarly because so far proton design its model range individually but amazingly all the cars from proton when parked togather they have the sense of harmony.

    and the interior might opt to black plastic this time. or darker grey.
    and little bitsy of garnish might help to give a classy look of the interior. as little as somethig like around the gear shifter.

  35. hohohoho….smart….!!!boleh kan kalau cakap BM…hahaha…memang cun…tp rs lg smart klau letak carbon hood(black)….sbb ats dh hitam…tp memang cun….hahaha…teingin nak buek mcm ni….model dah sama…hahaha…cuma keta den tambah RIM 15″ enkei 15btg,skirting carbon stcker,lining stcker R3…tu je..hohoho

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