Yesterday, we brought you news that Proton will make a return to the World Rally Championship (WRC) next year with the Iriz R5, developed by Mellors Elliot Motorsport (MEM). Now, MEM’s official media provider Chicane Media has released a full photo gallery of the rally car, and it sure looks like it means business.

The B-segment hatchback has been beefed up significantly for competition use, with massive box arches bolted on to fit the larger wheels and wider track. Also visible is a deep front splitter, a large mesh lower grille with the Iriz script, bonnet vents, a roof scoop, a sizeable rear wing and a large exhaust exit.

Built to compete in the WRC2 category as well as the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), the Iriz R5 is powered by a 4B11T turbocharged four-cylinder engine from a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X. To comply with the R5 class regulations, the engine’s displacement has been decreased from the stock 2.0 litres to 1.6 litres, which MEM claimed would make the mill even stronger.

The car also comes with an Xtrac transmission, Reiger dampers, Brembo brakes and Cosworth electronics, and will be available in both left- and right-hand drive; homologation is set to kick off on January 1. “We started looking at this with Proton last year and straight away we were excited by what we saw with the road car. The size and shape of the Iriz is perfect for rallying,” team boss Chris Mellors told Autosport.

“Everything is in the right place: the overall length of the car is shorter than the Satria, but the wheelbase is longer; the strut tops are in just the right place; there’s lots of frontal area which is great for cooling. We’ve got a great base car and into that we’ve put all the right ingredients.”

This isn’t the first time MEM has joined forces with Proton for rallying either, as it had previously built the Satria Neo S2000 for the national carmaker. That car competed in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC), Super 2000 World Rally Championship (SWRC) and the APRC, bagging the drivers’, constructors’ and teams’ titles in the latter in 2011.

“Proton never lost its interest and desire to compete in rallying. It was just the practical point that there was no car. Proton is really excited by what we’ve got here,” Mellor said.