Proton_Iriz_Review_ 057

Much has been said about the Proton Iriz‘s CVT – the general consensus during the press drive event was that while the new car demonstrated gains in many areas, the Punch-sourced gearbox, by comparison, has the most room for improvement.

Bear in mind, the gearbox in question – an improved ‘CVT2+’ unit over the CVT2 found in the Saga FLX – is without doubt Proton’s best-performing thus far. There has been continual improvement – the Iriz’s gearbox betters the Suprima S‘ unit, which in turn bettered the Preve‘s, which bettered the Exora‘s. Still, in terms of linearity, response and refinement, it still falls short somewhat of other CVTs in the market.

Proton is aware of this Achilles’ heel, and according to chief technical officer Abdul Rashid Musa, it is “studying the possibility” of switching to a CVT that uses a torque converter (like the CVT used in the Honda City/Jazz) instead of a start-up clutch, to improve pulling away from rest, as well as fuel consumption.

Rashid added that Punch Powertrain – the maker of all of Proton’s CVTs save for the one in the Inspira – does not manufacture torque converter-type CVTs, so the carmaker will have to turn to other suppliers. If indeed a torque converter-type CVT is decided on and sourced, it is unclear if it will first see duty in a facelift-model Iriz or another – existing or future – Proton model.

In the meantime, Rashid told us during the press drive event that the relevant running updates for the Iriz are being studied – Proton is looking at engine and transmission mountings, and possibly adding insulation, to better isolate noise from the cabin.