While Proton might have just given the Iriz a makeover in 2019, it would appear that isn’t all that she wrote for the current Iriz platform as we captured a camouflaged Iriz with four adults inside along the Karak Highway.
We can’t see much from the photos but the Iriz looks set to come with major updates to the rear-end. You’ll see the rear hatch garnish and rear bumper heavily covered up, implying some changes there. The taillights look to be carried over.
Although the new Iriz badging on the 2019 facelift has been stickered over; unsurprisingly, the area just above the hand slot to lift the rear hatch has a patch of camouflage as well and that’s something intriguing as the current 2019 facelift doesn’t have any emblems there. Lastly, there’re roof rails and noticeably larger wheels fitted here as well, the strongest indications as to what this Iriz might be.
Before your mind is unleashed and begins concocting some unhinged R3 version of the Iriz, you better leash your imagination back up. The R3 division is focused firmly on motorsports at the moment and not putting its touches on current production models.
Back in 2015, Proton introduced the Iriz Active concept. Think along the lines of a Volkswagen CrossPolo or if you require something closer to home to jog your memory; the Axia Style. The formula is a little lift in ride height, some black body cladding along the sides and occasionally, roof rails.
Seeing how the Axia Style has performed sales-wise, it wouldn’t be too farfetched to imagine that Proton want a slice of that pie as well.
On a more likely note however, this could very well be the Iriz being tested with a version of the Hyundai-sourced four-speed automatic that made its way into the 2019 Saga in place of the much-detested Punch CVT.
If you’re wondering why the Iriz and Persona didn’t receive the four-speed auto box, the reason was the timeframe by Geely for the facelifts of each model. They wanted the Iriz and Persona refreshed before the Saga.
Seeing as the timelines are set ahead of time, the Saga engineers knew they had more time to work on mating the new transmission to the existing engine and having sufficient time to perform the necessary testing.
The Iriz and Persona teams probably were constrained by the shorter timelines and had to make do with minimal changes.
Now that they have more time, they could very well be fitting in the torque-converter automatic into the Iriz and perhaps the Persona as well.
Expect a 2021 debut for whatever this turns out to be.