Along with the official launch of the Satria Neo CPS, members of the media were given the chance to test out the new Neo CPS at an empty parking lot. Although excited about testing the new spiritual successor to the Proton Satria GTI, I wasn’t too keen about driving the up-rated Neo within the confines of a rather small area. Proton had setup a pointless-looking mini race track within the compounds of the APAC parking lot and I managed to get a taste of both manual and automatic variants.
First up was the automatic version. Featuring similar cabin room as the standard Neo, the CPS variant also suffers from lack of head clearance. In my honest opinion, it was quite fun to drive the Neo CPS through tight spots, as the handling was rather sharp. At average speeds of up to 60 km/h, I only felt some easily correctable understeer at the limits of car. While negotiating those tight turns, I felt very minimal body roll, while the nicely-weighted steering wheel offered good feedback.
The sprint performance with the auto tranny was just about average. As expected, the performance of the automatic transmission during my initial test was made me to look forward to the manual Neo CPS. The manual is the only way to really enjoy this car!
The first thing I did when got myself into the manual Neo was to have a feel of the gear lever hoping for it to be nicely weighted, as opposed to being “soggy” or “lose”, and I am happy to say that my hopes were realized. A little on the hard side of things, gear change was slick and precise, which is good since this car is positioned as a performance variant. For the manual Neo CPS test, there were longer straights on the temporary track, which allowed me to feel the CPS powerplant’s good performance on high revs.
Through out the quick test drive, I also noticed that the throttle response was also up to expectation. I would like to mention about its ride quality but unfortunately the test drive was rather short, so looks like we have to wait for a longer drive. But based on the short drive, things are pointing the right direction for the Neo CPS. The handling and performance seems to suit the aggressive looks on the outside. Some might say that the body kit treatment is a little over the top, but personally, I feel its alright.
I just wish that the wheels were extended by half an inch or so, but that may affect the overall handling. I also feel that the rear exhaust box should have been hidden neatly. The way it is now makes the rear diffuser look bad. So far, my thumbs are pointing upwards for the Satria New CPS. Stick around as we will bring you the test review as soon as we get a test drive unit.
Story by Harvinder Singh, because Paul Tan cannot fit properly in the car while wearing a safety helmet, thanks to the headroom.
VIDEO: White Satria Neo CPS
VIDEO: Black Satria Neo CPS
Proton Satria Neo CPS – Launch Photos
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Proton Satria Neo CPS – Exterior Photos
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Proton Satria Neo CPS – Interior Photos
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