Proton today launched a very special version of their Neo CPS – the Proton Satria Neo R3 Lotus Racing. Priced at RM115k it has various equipment upgrades including an engine tune-up. Now producing 145 bhp and 168 Nm of torque, the engine is a substantial 25 bhp and 18 Nm up on the standard CPS. 0-100 km/h is now done in 9.2 seconds and top speed is 200 km/h, compared to 10.5 seconds and 190 km/h for the standard Neo CPS M/T.

RM115,000 is a lot of money to pay for a Satria Neo, but this doubled price tag over the standard Neo CPS comes with much more than just a carbon fibre bonnet and Lotus Racing emblems. There’s some serious performance upgrades that should make it quite a hoot to drive, and these improvements are not just reflected in the vital stats.

More vital than these improved figures however are things like revised ratios for the five-speed gearbox. According to a source in R3, the Neo R3 Lotus Edition will rev till its 7500 rpm redline in EVERY gear, and all sorts of torque curve issues have been been banished. We look forward to a test drive to confirm this exciting revelation. When the head of the R3 department is one of the best drifters in the world, you can be sure that the division’s products are not just about power and acceleration. Handling is a big part of the equation, and bearing the “Lotus Racing” name means that this car has to deliver some thrills behind the wheel.

There’s some delicious sounding hardware in this car. First up are the Öhlins DFV (Dual Flow Valve) fully adjustable coil-over suspension with spring and damper rates specifically tuned for this application by R3. The Neo also gets stiffened rubber bushes and revised suspension geometry. All these are claimed to deliver “racecar-like direct steering input and cornering precision”. The saved weight from the carbon hood also means that there’s less weight over the front axle, which is good news. This car is 62 kg lighter than the standard Neo CPS at 1150 kg.

If you peek behind the 16-inch Advanti alloys wrapped with 205/45 Bridgestone Adrenalin rubber, you’ll spot the four-pot AP Racing calipers gripping the front discs. The rear discs make do with single pot items. Other than the engine tune-up, you also get R3 Titanium Exhaust Headers, R3 Alloy Underdrive Pulleys, an R3 Tuned Exhaust System, and an R3 Carbon Fiber Airbox. These equipment including R3-tuned camshaft profiles contribute towards the power upgrade.

R3 has plans to make 25 units of the Satria Neo R3 Lotus Racing Edition. Our sources say that 11 units are already accounted for, and we reckon that Proton will have no problems selling off the remaining units. They will of course come up with a second batch if response and demand is sufficient.

There’s a whole load of more material after the jump including loads of hi-res product photos, track action photos and live photos from the car’s unveiling in Pavilion today.

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Lotus R3 Neo Specifications
Click image above for enlarged version