Proton deputy CEO Datuk Lukman Ibrahim wasn’t the only one we managed to catch up with at the national carmaker’s Kuala Terengganu sales carnival – during a brief chat with Tengku Djan Ley, the ‘Prince of Drift’ shared with us some details regarding future offerings that would wear the hallowed R3 badge.
“You will actually see a more unique product based on the Suprima and Preve platform, with the R3 badge on it, in the very near future. We are already working on that with the Proton R&D team,” said the affable R3 team principal, adding that the car would be built on-line.
“This will be the first official mass-produced R3 product, with styling, handling and performance all combined. I’m very excited about it.”
Although Djan was speaking of one model, we’ve already had indication that proper R3 versions (the full sambal belacan, not just R3 exterior bits) of the Preve as well as the Suprima S are in the pipeline.
In an interview with Datuk Lukman during the Suprima S launch event, the deputy CEO intimated that the R3 Preve would debut before the R3 Suprima S, although no timeframe was given. If this does indeed happen, the R3 Preve would then be the first full-on R3 car to be mass-produced.
Yes, the 2012 Satria Neo R3 is built on-line, but underneath its R3 dress, it’s essentially a Neo CPS (although the catalogue offers you an ECU upgrade, custom exhaust and lowered springs).
Full-fledged R3 cars have, for the most part, been halo models – mods were carried out by hand on cars pulled off the line, hence the limited numbers. Now, with the throttle pulled back on its overseas racing programmes, R3 is looking domestic – both in terms of motorsports and the commercial side of things.
In a bid to further commercialise the brand, future R3 models would cater to a wider target market and possibly even be offered in overseas markets, but Djan was quick to add that they would not be less special than R3 cars of yore (in a less hardcore way, surely).
Will the R3 Preve and R3 Suprima S take the six-speed manual-CFE turbo combo as a base to build upon?