Not sure about the gears, but Europe (I think Oz as well??) got an even more "neutered" version with 20 hp less IIRC due to even more restrictive emmisions. So I guess they gave the entire world the neutered version. They did get 4 pots up front over there. 'Cause most Americans don't care about brakes.
They gave Tommi Makkinen and Peter Solberg 4 doors too so don't feel bad - you're in good company!