Proton’s cars usually don’t get much time on TopSpeed because they have traditionally been, well, boring. But the economy carmaker has always had an ace up its sleeve: it owns Lotus. Now it may be using the British brand to help it dominate the rally car circuit.
It seems there is a perfect storm brewing. Subaru is dropping out of the World Rally Championship, which is leaving a big hole for a new competitor to fill. Proton has already got a racer called the Satria Neo S2000 (based on the Lotus-tuned R3 Satria). What can really bring this all together is the driver, and ex-Subie champion Petter Solberg is rumored to fill that role for Proton.
If Proton were to go through with plans to compete in the WRC, it could possibly finally get the brand some worldwide respect. After all, rallying took Subaru from its “cheap and ugly” days and gave it bedroom poster status.