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At last year’s Alami Proton event, the national carmaker showcased a Proton Iriz and Proton Exora that packed a prototype powertrain – a 1.3 litre turbocharged engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Given that there has been explicit interest from the public, we questioned Proton chief technical officer Abdul Rashid Musa on whether said powertrain is still in the pipeline, and how it would fit in with its upcoming new engine line-up.

Rashid began by explaining that downsizing is one of the key activities in lowering emissions and promoting better fuel efficiency. He continued on by stating that Proton’s progression plans means it will not wait for the arrival of its new GDI/TGDI engines, one of which includes a 1.2 litre three-pot that is said to be “packaged suitably to the right vehicle,” to be revealed in the future.

When asked if the 1.3 litre turbo (not the TGDI) will appear in future Proton vehicles first before the new mills’ arrival, Rashid replied, “I mean logically, it should,” and mentioned that the 1.3 litre turbo along with the six-speed manual transmission was “superb.” He went on to say that the powertrain will represent “performance made affordable,” and quoted a 0-100 km/h time of between 8-9 seconds.

As a recap, the Proton Iriz and Exora seen at the Alami Proton event packed a 1.3 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a six-speed Getrag manual transmission. Information displays revealed that the engine had an output of 140 hp at 5,750 rpm, and 190 Nm of torque from a low 1,800 to 5,000 rpm. That makes it more powerful than the current 1.6 litre CFE engine offered (138 hp/205 Nm).

The prototype Iriz was listed as having a claimed 0-100 km/h time of 8.7 seconds, in line with Rashid’s statement. At that time, we were told that the two cars were mere prototypes that are still a long way from coming to market. Unfortunately, that still remains the case, as we weren’t given an estimated arrival of the powertrain, but it’s good to know that the national carmaker still has that plan on their cards. Interested?

GALLERY: Proton Iriz 1.3 turbo, six-speed manual prototype

GALLERY: Proton Exora 1.3 turbo, six-speed manual prototype