The local automotive scene is now abuzz with the impending arrival of Perodua’s new compact car, the Axia. Adding to all that hype is Proton’s Global Small Car (GSC), also known as the Proton Compact Car (PCC). Little is known about the car, save for the handful of pictures Proton has deliberately made public through their microsite – www.betulbetulonz.com, in celebration of our 57th National Independence Day.
We can only assume that the car, widely referred to as the ‘Iriz’, will not be embracing that name judging from the way Proton names their models.Proton’s model naming trend is pretty clear cut, and that it usually ends with the letter ‘A’. We have the Saga, Wira, Satria, Putra, Perdana, Gen-2 (Gen-Dua), Persona, Suprima, Exora, Inspira; you get the point. Objectively speaking, we’ll give Proton the benefit of the doubt, seeing how they’ve gone out of the norms with the Savvy and Preve.
Names aside, the ‘Iriz’ spots several unique touches formerly strange to the Proton brand. For example, the new headlights have the word ‘Proton’ embossed onto it, a nifty touch there. You don’t see many non-premium car manufacturers doing that, so that’s a plus point for prospective buyers, if you’re into that kind of thing.
It’s quite likely that the headlights will be halogen powered via the projector units, as seen in the teaser picture here. The reflector headlights however, will most probably be for the high-beam. Signal indicators are placed inwards next to the grille. It’s not an unfamiliar look, but they do look good nonetheless.
In line with Proton’s ambition to produce a compact car of global standards, the ‘Iriz’ is claimed to have a 5-Star ASEAN New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) safety rating and Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) – that’s the electronic stability control.
Now, the interior is where the ‘Iriz’ excels in its class. For a start, the PCC features a touch screen colour head unit with GPS navigation, media and Bluetooth connectivity. It also functions as a Wi-Fi hotspot, a first to be offered in the Myvi-dominated segment.
A rear-view camera adds to the already impressive list of features the head unit has, and complements it with parking guides instead of displaying just what’s behind the car. The lines on the rear view camera display however, seems to be ghosting, although we are not dismissing the possibility of a trajectory aid.
Many of the interior features, like the ones mentioned above, could only be available in the upper-end variants. Another likely variant-dependent feature is the keyless entry and push-to-start ignition.
Six – is the number of airbags stuffed inside the ‘Iriz’. It’s clear in the teaser picture that the PCC gets six airbags in the following configuration: dual front, side and curtain airbags. The top-view of its interior layout hints at impressive rear legroom space, but the materials used on the seats aren’t distinguishable. It’s very likely that the seats can be had in fabric or leather, though we won’t be getting a centre armrest from the looks of it.
The Proton ‘Iriz’ has already spurred interest from the public, and the folks at Proton have so far been successful at keeping the car’s development a well-kept secret. It’s about time now, Proton. You’ve got us all excited.