Proton Iriz hatchback may come to India, that’s if the Malaysians find it feasible

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2014 Proton Iriz hatchback

Proton is a Malaysian carmaker and they are now looking at options to enter into the Indian car market. The company has one particular model chosen for this endeavour (if it happens), that model is the Proton Iriz hatchback. If Proton does enter the Indian market, it might choose to assemble its Iriz hatchback locally by joining hands with an Indian partner, just like Mitsubishi has done with Hindustan Motor Finance Corp. The latter is still to open its own manufacturing plant in India, despite being in the market for decades. For viability reasons, the Malaysian carmaker could do the same thing.

The Iriz is a sub-4 metre hatchback (3920mm to be precise) comes powered by two petrol engines in Malaysia and in the global market. However, the carmaker is aware of the excise duty benefits in India of having smaller displacement motors. This is only applicable to cars that are under the 4-metre mark and have engines that either displace less than 1.2-litres (petrol version) or less than 1.5-litres for the diesel version.

Proton Iriz hatchback

Abdul Rashid Bin Musa, Chief Technical Officer, Group Engineering of Proton.

Unfortunately for Indian diesel car buyers, Proton doesn’t offer any oil-burners at the moment, the Iriz hatchback comes with two petrol engines, only. The least powerful is a 1.3-litre with variable valve timing (VVT) motor, making 95 horsepower and 120 Nm of torque. There is a more punchy 1.6-litre VVT engine which develops 108 horsepower and 150 Nm of torque. But, neither of these will benefit from the excise cuts if brought into India and as a result, will make the Iriz an expensive proposition for most. And according to Rashid Bin Musa, the company’s primary hurdle in India, is their lack of a diesel engine.

Unlike in India, where even the smallest hatchback might have a diesel heart, Malaysia uses oil-burners only in their commercial vehicles. And the Proton Iriz hatchback’s petrol units even meet strict Euro 4 emission norms. So, even if Proton manages to tackle the challenge, would you buy the Iriz hatchback? Its immediate rivals includes cars like the Elite i20 and the Swift from Maruti Suzuki. Let us know of your answer in the comments section, below.

Source – AutocarProfessional

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