PROTON will add another variant to its burgeoning Suprima S line-up, with confirmation the Super Premium will arrive in local showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Launched at a Proton sales event in Malaysia in January, the Super Premium essentially adds a body kit to the regular Suprima S hatch, the vehicle that officially arrived in Australian showrooms last month in two specification levels – base GX and more upmarket GXR.
Proton said the Super Premium was aimed at buyers “seeking a sportier design” and features a body kit from the forthcoming R3 hot-hatch with a front spoiler, restyled rear bumper, R3-badged side skirts and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Despite describing the new variant as “race inspired”, the Super Premium carries the same powertrain as the GX and GXR which consists of a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine delivering 103kW/205Nm and matched with a standard ProTronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) with seven pre-set ratios.
Proton plans to add a six-speed manual gearbox to the equipment list of the current Suprima S line-up before the middle of the year.
Fuel consumption for this engine is rated at 8.8 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle when matched with the CVT.
The Suprima S, and its Preve sedan sibling, both carry a five-star ANCAP crash safety rating.
The Malaysian car-maker’s local arm is yet to reveal pricing for the new variant, but expect it to carry a premium over the current range-topping GXR which retails locally for $25,790 drive-away with the CVT.
When the manual variants arrive in the coming months, pricing will start at $18,990 drive-away for the GX and move up to $23,790 in GXR guise.
Proton deputy chief executive officer Dato’ Lukman Ibrahim said the Super Premium was the most well-equipped Proton to date and that its extensive list of standard safety gear – the Suprema S has earned a top crash rating in Australia – would appeal to buyers.
“The Proton Suprima S has been awarded with a 5-Star safety rating from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), joining the ranks of many other international renowned models as a car that is recommended by ANCAP to be purchased by consumers attributed to its high standard of safety,” he said.
In a bid to harken back to the days of its Satria GTi, which gained a cult following in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Proton will launch the performance-oriented R3 later this year with a tweaked version of the 1.6-litre turbocharged unit.
A more powerful turbocharged 2.0-litre version of the R3 is likely to join the line-up in 2015.