Proton_Iriz_Review_ 003

At the launch of Proton’s exports to Chile, chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Harith Abdullah said that export plans for the Proton Iriz are currently in the pipeline, and that left-hand drive models are still in development.

This was expanded upon by chief technical officer Abdul Rashid Musa, who told that it would be “logical” that the national carmaker would introduce the Iriz in regional markets like Indonesia and Thailand first, followed by Australia.

News regarding the Iriz’ export plans have been coming out for a long time, ever since the car was unveiled in September 2014. In November of that year, it was spotted at the Thailand International Motor Expo, with the words “Coming Soon” plastered on the side windows; however, we haven’t heard of any developments for the Thai market since then.

Proton_Iriz_Review_ 009

The month after, it was reported that the Iriz was due to arrive in Australia in mid-2015 with the possibility of it gaining the Satria badge instead (Iriz R3 badged as the Satria GTi, perhaps?). Fast forward to October 2015, and a report came in about the Iriz undergoing type approval in Indonesia, with a planned launch by the end of that year. It was said that the B-segment hatch would go on sale there in five variants, including a hitherto unmentioned 1.3 Premium CVT model.

Do note that exports to the European markets are only expected to commence after Proton’s new engines – which will incorporate direct-injection technology in both naturally-aspirated (GDI) and turbocharged (TGDI) forms – go into production by end-2017. These mills will meet the more stringent European emissions regulations, including the upcoming Euro 6c coming into effect in 2018.

Abdul Harith also mentioned that Proton was planning to export 7,000 cars this year, including to the new markets of Chile and Bangladesh – up from last year’s figure of around 5,000 units.