Some of us here at the desk are rather fascinated with the Mellors Elliot Motorsport-prepared Proton Iriz R5, therefore its apparent presence here in Malaysia is quite a welcome bit of news. After all, this is the latest rally car to bear the Proton badge, and which has clinched a handful of rally victories to boot, including the latest at the Cambrian Rally.

Alas, upon closer observation, the unit seen isn’t quite the real deal, as certain omissions betray its series production origin. The Iriz on display wears a replica of the racer’s exterior, but does without the bona fide racer’s underpinnings – it lacks a rollcage, while the dashboard, CVT gearlever, steering wheel and infotainment setup appear to have remained as standard.

The replica here does however receive racing harnesses and Racetech bucket seats, and despite the display car’s lack of genuine competition-spec running gear, this unit was shipped to the United Kingdom and put together by Mellors Elliot Motorsport themselves at its headquarters, according to our source from Proton.

Starting life as a 1.6 Premium variant painted green (as revealed by bodywork exposed from the removal of rear seats and carpeting), the Iriz R5 replica here gains an aero kit including square-cut wheelarch extension flares. Its front and rear bumpers and large tailgate-mounted rear wing mimic those from the actual competition car, along with side mirrors, roof scoop and air ducts fashioned from carbon-fibre.

Rolling stock for this replica is a set of Speedline 18-inch wheels shod in Michelin Pilot Sport R tyres, which resemble the items fitted to the Iriz R5. As for the actual rally specification, the Iriz R5 gets Cosworth electronics, Reiger dampers, Brembo brakes and all-wheel driveline by Xtrac. Power for the competition car is courtesy of a Mitsubishi 4B11T, sleeved from 2.0 litres to 1.6 litres to comply with R5 regulations.