A reader who declined to be named kindly sent in these pictures of a Proton Suprima S apparently equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox. The car, which was spotted in Perak, is partly camouflaged (why the need for that, we don’t know), but we can see the stick-shift version retains the front fog lamps, projector headlamps and DRLs.
A peek inside reveals a few more things it hasn’t lost – engine start button (beside it is a new mysterious scroll wheel/row of buttons – headlamp leveller? Instrument panel brightness? Pic not clear) and Anthracite leather seats. Another pic shows the “SRS Airbag” fabric sewn onto the side of the seat – this one should have six airbags like the rest.
And of course, there’s the unmistakable manual gear lever, encased in a neat leather gaiter. The gear knob has a satin-finished base on which sits a collar that presumably must be lifted to engage reverse. The R-1-2-3-4-5-6 gearchange pattern is debossed on the top of the gear knob in the Preve/Suprima S font (speedo and rev counter numbers).
Proton deputy CEO Datuk Lukman Ibrahim told us recently that this six-speed manual gearbox (which has been announced for Australia from 2014) will be paired with the turbocharged 1.6 litre CFE engine rather than the non-turbo CPS and IAFM mills (for which five-speed manuals are already available). Like the five-speeders, this six-speeder could very well be supplied by Getrag.