Proton has introduced an additional model to the Suprima S hatchback range in its home market of Malaysia and plans to send some downunder to us in Australia.

The standard Proton Suprima S was launched in Australia in January 2014 and those who enjoy the driving pleasure provided by Lotus tuned suspension in that model will welcome the sporty new variant, the Suprima S Premium.

However, the Suprima S Premium model doesn’t provide added performance, rather it’s aimed at those wanting a sportier look. This is provided by 17-inch alloy wheels, and an R3 body kit. The latter has a front spoiler, a bolder design of rear bumper, and R3 badged side skirts.

The 17-inch wheels and tyres may provide a bit more road grip and further improve the excellent Lotus steering wheel. But we haven’t had a chance to drive a Premium yet and will bring a report as soon as we are able to do so.

The tag ‘R3’ indicates Proton’s motorsport division, which also provides some warmed over road cars. The R3 stands for, Race, Rally, Research.

While not exactly to the standard of HSV, FPV, AMG and the like, R3 is a healthy start and indicates the Malaysian marque is keen on providing ‘real drivers cars’.

The new model will be powered by Proton’s 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine that produces 103 kilowatts of power and a useful 205 Newton metres of torque that sits all the way from 2000 to 4000 revs.

It drives the front wheel by way of a CVT automatic, which has seven preset ratios. A ‘proper’ manual gearbox would be nice in our opinion, let’s hope Proton can provide one soon.

Proton Suprima S Premium has leather seats, a reversing camera, push button start/stop, paddle shifts, and cruise control as standard among its comprehensive list of standard features.

The Proton Suprima S achieved a five-star safety rating from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) when crash tested. It has six airbags, Hill-Hold Assist, ESC with brake assist, Traction control and ABS brakes with EBD.

Imports of the Suprima S Premium to Australia will begin at a date yet to be advised, all Proton will say is that it will come, “later in the year.” Knowing the company is aiming at a major revival in Australia it’s likely the Premium will arrive sooner rather than later. Even better, we anticipate it being very competitively priced.

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