Four Special Edition models from Proton

SPECIAL edition models draw strong appeal with car brand enthusiasts and this is not lost on the automotive industry, be it the exclusive marque right down to the mass-reach brands. The incentive for enthusiasts rises above being different from the rest but is more on celebrating the occasion or milestone that the carmaker has earmarked the special edition models out to be.

There are, of course, other reasons for these special edition models, especially lower down the ranks. Giving a fresh perspective to the existing models that have been around for a while is one or merely to give supporters an added choice in the respective model range by widening their appeal.

That appears to be the case with the latest special edition exercise by Proton and it covers four models too! Apparently, the Saga Anniversary Edition provided earlier (which was a celebration of the enduring appeal of Proton’s first model) was so eagerly awaited and received (1100 cars sold in just five days), Proton clearly felt it had to roll with this renewed wave of support and enthusiasm.

Affirming that, Proton Edar CEO Roslan Abdullah says Proton is giving customers more choice with these four special edition models. “These are products manufactured in Malaysia targeted to local car buyers and are reminders that Proton is and always would be a ‘full-service’ car manufacturer with the ability to design, develop and build our own cars from a clean sheet of paper,” he proudly proclaims.

The latest exercise covers two themes; Black Edition and R3 Limited Edition. The first involves the Persona and Exora that panders more to the family types while the racy R3 moniker leans towards the younger and more outgoing set with the Iriz and Saga. And with the Sales Tax exemption provided by the Government till end June, this couldn’t be a better time to drum up even more sales.

The Black Edition, as the name suggests, has the Persona and Exora special edition models being available only in black but with gold accents ‘subtly accentuating’ the bumpers and alloy wheels. In Proton’s perspective, the Persona and Exora Black Edition adds ‘style and luxury to vehicles that are sold on their practicality and comfort’.

This black theme is carried on inside these two models with black leatherette seats, door trims and floor console. The similarity ends there as for a matter of separation, the Persona Black Edition would continue the dark theme in the headlining while the Exora Black Edition comes with an overhead monitor, presumably in catering more to its capacity to accommodate more passengers.

For the Iriz and Saga, as expected, the R3 Limited Edition models are meant to celebrate Proton’s Motorsports division, which is deemed a success story. As is the norm with Proton, the R3 badge is always reserved for the ‘sportiest’ models and for which, the Iriz and Saga are seen as ‘worthy recipients’ of the moniker.

Both the Iriz and Saga R3 Limited Edition models share a common theme with the Black Edition selection in being presented with a black body but ‘adorned with the distinctive’ R3 livery used on Proton’s race cars. Adding to the pizzazz, the Iriz comes with 16-inch R3 alloy wheels while the Saga loses the lustre a little by being fitted with 15-inch alloy wheels finished in matte grey.

Completing the external changes is the sporty R3 bodykit that should go down well with those eyeing either of these two Proton special edition models. And like the Black Edition models, the interior is also geared to impress with a unique black-yellow interior for a lively splash, leatherette seats and R3 carpet mats to stamp that sporty orientation.

These special edition models looked attractively priced too. On-the-road tags without insurance are: Saga R3 Limited Edition RM42,300; Iriz R3 Limited Edition RM52,900; Persona Black Edition RM54,700; and Exora Black Edition RM67,800.

There is no mention by Proton as to how many units of the respective special edition model would be made available. It could be like the Saga Anniversary Edition with 1100 cars each or it could be more, depending on demand. What we do know is that these special edition models would only be available in Peninsular Malaysia and the prices stated are valid till 30th June, after which the Sales Tax exemption ends. - LPS