UPDATE: Read our Proton Saga FLX test drive story, loaded with pix and a video.

Proton has officially launched the Saga FLX 1.3L, which we managed to check out in the showroom over the weekend. The car’s entry into the market was announced today, in both manual and CVT drivetrain options and two variant forms – Standard and Executive.

Going with the FLX 1.3L Executive variant bags a list of added features, notably driver and passenger air-bags along with ABS and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). There’s no mention about any change to the engine’s output, so the assumption is that one continues on as is.

The introduction of the car follows on the company’s earlier announcement in June declaring the successful development and integration of CVT technology with its CamPro engine.

The transmission change improves the drivability and responsiveness of the car without compromising its power, said Proton’s MD Datuk Seri Syed Zainal Abidin. “Because of the lighter build of the engine, along with the ‘stepless’ gear transition that the CVT provides, the Saga FLX delivers a fuel consumption drop of 4% in an urban driving environment, with consumption dropping up to 10% when driven on highways,” he said.

“The utilisation of CVT technology has a far reaching impact to the consumer. Other than the fuel saving, the smoothness and reliability that CVT provides allows the engine to run at an optimum level, thus resulting in less engine fatigue and improving its long term durability,” he added.

CVTs provide a shift-less operation, as they are able to continuously vary the transmission ratio on the fly, but we understand Proton has also allowed the user to manually activate a 6-speed virtual ratio mode via a button near the gear lever.

Along with the new drivetrain and ABS/EBD comes a new colour as well – Elegant Brown joins the existing options of Tranquility Black, Genetic Silver, Solid White and Blue Rock in the shade lineup.

Pricing-wise, the FLX 1.3L starts from RM38,598 for the Standard manual version right up to RM44,998 for the Executive CVT variant. The Saga FLX 1.3L is now available for bookings and can be viewed at all Proton showrooms nationwide.

Photos after the jump.

[zenphotopress number=999 album=2469]