2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia

Sanjay · Feb 18, 2021 11:00 AM

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 01

Following a surprise announcement on Valentine's Day, Proton has officially brought back the R3 moniker with the 2021 Proton Saga and Iriz R3 Limited Edition, both of which were launched alongside the 2021 Proton Persona and Exora Black Edition. 

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 02

Do they have any other claim to fame other than being your shot at getting a factory-painted black Proton, typically reserved for government use? Let's find out.

2021 Proton Saga R3 Limited Edition - from RM 42k

What's new?

  • R3 stickers, window banners, badging
  • Interior gets R3-specific details, new leather seats
  • Limited to 2,000 units

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 01

Rather notably, this is the first time the R3 badge has found its place on a production Proton model since 2012's Satria Neo R3.

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 02

But the R3 trimmings this time are mainly just that - trimmings. Barring the yellow pinstripes à la last year's quick-selling 35th Anniversary Edition, the Saga R3 LE gets new window banners, badging and of course, these funky new graphics along the sides. 

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 03

The '82' is a nod to a S1K endurace race-winning Saga

The R3 LE is based on the 1.3 Premium variant, so it keeps the standard 15-inch wheels which are now in matte grey. 

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 04

A closer look at the sticker and badging package, also present on the Iriz R3 LE

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 05

The yellow detail flows inside too, with the stitching, instrument cluster surrounds, cubby spaces, and air-conditioning vents getting a splash of yellow. 

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 06

At least there's nice R3-branded carpets and leather seats.

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 07

Mechanically, everything is unchanged - it's still the same bog-standard 95 PS/120 Nm 1.3-litre, naturally-aspirated mill mated to a 4-speed automatic gearbox. 

The Saga R3 LE starts from RM 42,300, on-the-road without insurance.

2021 Proton Iriz R3 Limited Edition - from RM 52k

What's new?

  • R3 bodykit and sticker package, 16-inch wheels
  • R3-specific interior details, leather seats
  • Limited to 500 units

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 08

Right next to it is the Iriz R3 LE. With a subtle, R3-designed bodykit highlighted in yellow, we think it does a much better job of communicating its sporting aspirations than the Saga.

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 09

'83' pays homage to the S1K race-winning Iriz

Beyond the multi-piece bodykit (that also includes the rather nice spoiler), keen-eyed observers will note that the 16-inch wheels on the Iriz R3 LE were once worn by the Satria Neo CPS.

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 10

A closer look at the R3 bodykit

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 11

Moving inside, the Iriz R3 LE keeps all the bells and whistles of the 1.6 Premium variant, with a few fine additions such as leather seats and yellow detailing everywhere. 

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 12

Leather seats with embroidered R3 logo and yellow stitching are also found in the Saga

Performance-wise, buyers will still get the same 1.6-litre, naturally-aspirated four-cylinder mill making 109 PS and 150 Nm, paired to a CVT.

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 13

The Iriz R3 LE starts from RM 52,900, on-the-road without insurance.

Now that we've got the R3s out of the way, let's check out the Black Editions.

2021 Proton Persona Black Edition - from RM 54k

What's new?

  • Black paint with gold detailing
  • New black headliner, gold interior details
  • Limited to 500 units

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 14

If the R3 duo are a little bit too shouty, then the Black Edition cars are the total opposite.

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 15

Yellow is out here, with the Persona getting light gold-coloured bumper surrounds, side stickers, and rear bumper details.

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 16

Much subtler colour than yellow for sure

The Persona badge is also finished in light gold, as are the 15-inch wheels.

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 17

Stepping inside, the Persona BE now features a more premium-looking black headliner to go with the champagne detailing the rest of the interior gets. 

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 18

Like the other two R3 models, the Persona retains its standard 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder/CVT combo that's shared with the Iriz R3 LE.

On-the-road prices for the Persona BE starts from RM 54,700.

2021 Proton Exora Black Edition - from RM 67k

What's new?

  • Black paint with gold details
  • New overhead screen for rear-seat occupants
  • Limited to 500 units

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 19

Aha, here's the surprise wildcard - the Exora Black Edition. 

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 20

In a bid to refresh the brand's only MPV (that was first introduced in 2009), the Exora BE gets the same colour trimmings as the Persona, with a few small differences. 

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 21

For one, the tail light cluster also gets light gold touches, and the 16-inch wheels now have a dual-tone, silver/light gold colourway.

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 22

These little touches give the Exora a rather premium feel.

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 23

The cabin also gets the other light gold-coloured details on the centre console surrounds, gear lever area, and seat stitching.

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 24

New on the Exora is the rear entertainment screen. So far, it's unclear whether this will be an option on other Exora variants moving forward.

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 25

The same 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder mill/CVT combination drives the Exora BE, with power rated at 140 PS and 205 Nm.

On-the-road prices (sans insurance) for the Exora starts from RM 67,800.

Final hurrah before facelifts?

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 26

If you like the current Persona and Iriz, then this could be your last shot at getting them. 

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 27

With things like LED headlights and even bigger wheels spied so far, we can expect the facelifted versions of both models to turn up not long after these special editions sell out. 

2021 Proton Iriz & Saga R3 Limited Edition, Persona & Exora Black Edition launched in Malaysia 28

Never mind the Saga - which was facelifted in 2019 - the Exora is expected to continue trundling along, at least until its replacement arrives. Could it be the Proton X90?

Sanjay

Writer

With humble beginnings collecting diecast models and spending hours virtually tuning dream cars on the computer, his love of cars has delightfully transformed into a career. Sanjay enjoys how the same passion for cars transcends boundaries and brings people together.

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