Proton has announced that the company is planning to develop its own high performance petrol engines as well as moving to develop a diesel power plant.

Proton looking for foreign partner

Proton has gained in self-confidence since launching the Persona in Malaysia. The Proton Persona will go on sale in Australia in May and the new Proton R3 Satria will follow in early 2009.

Proton is also hoping to expand its exports, but in order to be competitive they need a diesel engine and larger petrol performance engines. Proton hopes to develop a 1.8 liter petrol, 2.0 liter petrol and diesel engine with a yet unnamed partner. Proton managing director, Datuk Syed Zainal said: "I do not think a local partner can offer us the capability to develop a 'next level' engine. Work is under way to explore the development of high performance 1.8 and two-litre engines and we are also in talks with several foreign parties and will announce something by mid-year."

Markets like China and India increasingly demand diesel power and Proton thinks it would be a mistake to not have a diesel power train on offer.

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