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The Proton Iriz may not be heading to Australia after all – at least not with that name intact. According to a report by Australian motoring website CarAdvice, the new Malaysian B-segment hatch may actually carry the Satria nameplate instead when it arrives Down Under.

Proton Australia’s COO Kaye Amies said that her division is talking to officials over here about resurrecting the name when the car goes on sale in the country, reportedly in the middle of next year. Here’s where it gets interesting – the decision on calling it the Satria apparently hinges on the potency of the planned Iriz R3, slated to be unveiled here late next year before coming in Australia the year after.

Amies said that the performance model could receive the long-departed and much-loved Satria GTi moniker over there, but insisted that the new car would have to do the name justice.

Proton Satria GTi

“We’re sort of thinking if we bring this car out, and then [an] R3 [sports variant launches] – they’re thinking that they might do a more racy version – because of that we’re thinking, ‘Should we be doing that or not?'” she said. “The Satria GTi was such a well-known car and so many people wanted it. People still ask us have we got any.

“We’d need to look at it, see what it looks like, see what it’s going to do. Is it just going to be something that blows out through a little tailpipe and makes a lot of noise and does nothing, or is it actually going to be a bit sporty?” she added.

We already speculated about an upcoming Iriz R3 – in fact, we published renderings done by expert photo manipulator Theophilus Chin, showing how a hot Iriz might look like. We could see the little tyke swallow the CamPro 1.6 Turbo engine from the Preve and the Suprima S – churning out 138 hp and 205 Nm in standard trim, although the R3 boys would surely perk it up a notch – which could result it quite a feisty hot hatch.

Although the Iriz name has caused a stir in Australia, Amies said she had no qualms about using it if Proton Australia is settled on it, a decision that would most likely be made in January.

“It was a bit funny because a few people said, ‘Aww, it’s really a girl’s name, so it sort of makes it a girl’s car, doesn’t it?’ I said, ‘Do you think a Lotus Elise is a girl’s car?'” she said. “We’re still having discussions with Malaysia in terms of what their thoughts are about it. We’ll discuss it with them and try to come to some resolution, but we’ll wait to get Christmas over and done with first.”

Proton-PCC-crash-test

Additionally, Amies confirmed that the Iriz is currently being crash tested by the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP), with the results set to be released next year. Whatever Proton Australia ends up naming it, it should arrive with six airbags as standard, never mind stability control, a safety feature we also receive across the range.

So, what do you think of the Aussie name change? Would you like to see the return of the Proton Satria GTi on our shores, or would you stick with a Proton Iriz R3?

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