Click to enlarge

Proton has introduced an upped performance variant of its Satria Neo, called the R3 Satria Neo. There’s quite a bit of kit strapped on to this limited production run hot hatch, which the company says is built by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts.

For starters, Proton’s Motorsports Division has tweaked the standard 1.6-litre Campro S4PH engine with Stage 2 upgrades, and the result is an output of 145 bhp at 7,000 rpm and 168 Nm of torque at 5,000 rpm.

Available only with a close-ratio five-speed manual transmission, the R3 Satria Neo sports re-profiled camshafts that increase valve lift and overlap as well as a performance calibrated on-board computer with revised fuel maps for more spirited performance.

Other mechanical add-ons include a carbon fibre air intake system, a higher flow 4-2-1 performance exhaust system, high-performance brake pads and an adjustable aluminium camshaft pulley.

The 1,200 kg car naturally features ride and handling enhancements – R3 performance springs drops the car 10mm lower to reduce body roll, and recalibrated alignment, toe and camber settings help increase grip and steering precision. Rounding things off are R3 edition 16-inch gunmetal lightweight alloys wrapped with Bridgestone Potenza RE001R 205/45 series profile tyres.

Offered only in an exclusive Fire Red shade, with a black painted roof, the R3 Satria Neo sports a very distinctive exterior styling to set it apart from its predecessors. The all-round CPS bodykit is complemented by a redesigned R3 designed rear roof spoiler, a front lip which improves down force on the front axle and reduces undercarriage turbulence, as well as prominent fender arches and titanium coloured side strips/mouldings.

Inside, the cabin features a sporty two-tone scheme in matte red and black, with R3 limited edition front bucket seats wrapped in a mix of nappa leather with microfibre finish and carbon effect PVC, detailed with red stitching.

Elsewhere, matte red adorns the dashboard trim, gear console and handbrake handle, and there are R3 floor carpets as well. An engine start button, aluminium foot pedals and gear knob accentuates the R3 Satria Neo’s performance-driven attitude.

The car is also fitted with a two-DIN audio head unit with 3D GPS navigation. Safety features include dual front airbags, and anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), and there’s also solar and security protection.

The R3 Satria Neo isn’t quite launched yet – hence the solitary teaser shot provided – but bookings are now open for the RM79,797 offering at all Proton Edar showrooms in the Peninsular (the booking fee is RM2,000), and if you’re early about it you’ll get to be invited to the launch event and be photographed with Proton Motorsports’ star drivers, Tengku Djan Ley and Faidzil Alang.