G’day from Sydney, where the wraps have come off Proton’s Preve and Exora at the 2012 Australian International Motor Show. This marks the first export of the Preve, which hits the Aussie market initially in two variants: GX manual at AUS$18,990 (RM60k) and GX CVT at AUS$20,990 (RM66k), these being drive-away prices.

The variants are pretty much the same as our Executive manual and CVT, carrying the 1.6 litre IAFM+ unit that produces 107 hp at 5,750 rpm and 150 Nm at 4,000 rpm. A GXR version with the turbocharged 1.6 litre CFE and seven-speed ProTronic gearbox is in the pipeline.

Looking at the pricing of the GX variants, it’s safe to assume that the range-topper won’t stray very far from AUS$23k (the Premium costs RM73k at home) when it arrives in Australia next year.

However, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), front wheel traction control and six airbags come as standard on all Preve variants down under, in line with the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) of which the Preve aims for a five-star safety rating – several crash tests have already been carried out. At home, ESC is to be found only on the Premium variant, which has four airbags.

Also key to the Preve’s targeted five-star rating, we’re told, is its rigid HPF (Hot Press Forming) body construction – a combination of ultra-high and high tensile steel.

“Both the Preve and the Exora represent a new and higher level of standard for Proton cars in all aspects encompassing key aspects such as safety, performance, comfort, build quality, technology, overall design and convenience,” said Datuk Seri Mohd Khamil Jamil at the unveiling.

The Exora‘s Aussie price has yet to be confirmed but it will go on sale next year in GX and GXR trims. Again, ESC, front wheel traction control and four airbags will be standard across the range, with the GXR version adding features such as a reverse camera, cruise control and DRLs.

A 5+5+5 package is offered with the Preve and Exora which is made up of a five-year or 150,000 km warranty, five-year roadside assistance and five-year free service. Other models in Proton Cars Australia’s current line-up are the S16 FLX (Saga to us), Gen 2 and Persona Elegance, which were all on display. Also on the stand was the Satria Neo S2000 rally car.

By the way, the sassy sheila in the photos is Renae Ayris, Proton’s brand ambassador and current Miss Universe Australia, no less!