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It’s no secret that the new 2016 Proton Persona is built on the bones of the Iriz. There have, however, been several improvements made to improve refinement and CVT response – known weaknesses on the hatch – and it appears that these will be fed back to the latter in the near future.

At a session during the Persona media drive, deputy CEO Datuk Radzaif Mohamed said that the revisions were made in response to customer feedback for the Iriz, and that they will come “full circle” to the hatch. “This is our next project that we are going to run concurrently to see how we can bring this much improvement to the Iriz which has been around for the last two years,” he said.

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General manager for engineering validation Tengku Azizan Tengku Ahmad echoed Radzaif’s comments, saying that CVT response and refinement were the two things the company wanted to improve on the Iriz, and that it worked with CVT maker Punch to implement those changes.

Other upgrades include a new ECU for a more linear throttle response, as well as a reduction of engine mounts (which themselves have been redesigned) from four to three in order to transmit less vibrations to the cabin. The improvements were clearly felt in the Persona, both during the initial media preview and the test drive proper – you’ll be able to read the full review soon.