A long, full and very enjoyable visit to the SMMT test day at Millbrook. More to follow on that but I thought I'd quickly just get this photo up of the Proton Gen-2's new interior colours.
As this shot shows, the Gen-2's dash and interior trim now have a much more sober colour scheme using darkish grey shades that are more in tune with European tastes than the light colours Proton previously used.
The basic architecture of the interior, which I personally find quite attractive, especially the Lotus-style stacked dials ahead of the gear lever, seems to be unchanged. I'm not sure to what extent the textures or materials have been improved, but the change in colours alone gives the Gen-2 quite a lift, as does the free leather upholstery that is being fitted at the moment.
Also visible in this shot is Proton's sword-grip style handbrake handle, which I've always considered a bit naff, but today I drove the Mazda RX-8, which has something similar, and convinced myself that it looked pretty good. It just goes to show how our responses to features like this are conditioned by the badge a car carries. Put it this way; if BMW had been the first to do this with its handbrake handles, everyone else would have copied it by now.