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Published: Sunday March 18, 2012 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday May 25, 2013 MYT 5:55:14 PM

Proton styling head and team find inspiration in Turin stint

KUALA LUMPUR: Designers draw inspiration from the most unexpected places, and Azlan Othman is no different - Italian food is one of his muses.

As Proton's styling head, he is responsible for the look and feel of its cars including its newest addition, the P3-21A.

He and several team members collaborated with Italian design house Giugiaroin Turin, Italy, to conceptualise and finalise the design, and lived there for almost a year.

“Italian food is fantastic and healthy. I like to experience local cuisine when I travel. It inspires me to try different things and experience different cultures.

“I believe you need inspiration and emotions when it comes to design. Nobody likes to drive in a square box with four wheels,” he said at the Proton Power of 1 mega showcase at Bukit Jalil National Stadium.

Azlan described their year with the Italians as an exciting one as they got to trade creative ideas and learn from one another.

“Europeans are very particular about car design. They have been brought up to appreciate beauty and are really passionate about it, which translates into their designs,” he said, expressing pride at the soon-to-be unveiled P3-21A.

He said Malaysians could soon look forward to a car that represented a shift in the look of Proton cars.

Calling the P3-21A a “moving sculpture”, he said they had employed a timeless design for the model, which could grace any road in the world.

“The P3-21A is more than just a global car. It signifies Proton's move forward and a big jump from current models,” he said.

Azlan said tremendous focus had been placed on lifting the level and quality of the new model's design, including an upscaled interior, which promises to rid Proton of the “hard plastic” look.

He said the national car maker was now moving towards achieving a distinctive form that makes cars such as Volkswagen and Mercedes easily distinguishable.

He said Proton was working on certain technologies to suit tropical climate, including cabin comfort control and odour control.

“This will be able to eliminate really strong smells like our famous durian,” he said with a laugh.

“I have it in my head what I want to do for the next five to eight years and I'm very excited,” he said.

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