Proton Motorsports and renowned Japanese automotive parts manufacturer Carrosser Co Ltd (CUSCO) announced at the Tokyo Auto Salon that the Satria Neo will officially go on sale in Japan for motorsports use. CUSCO is the authorised Proton reseller in Japan and is responsible for the importation and distribution of the Neo in Japan.

This is the fruit of Proton Motorsports and CUSCO’s joint-development to produce Group N 1600cc Proton Satria Neo rally cars, which was first put on display at the 2011 Tokyo Auto Salon.

The cars competed in last year’s Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) and made a clean sweep of the 2WD categories, winning the APRC 2WD Manufacturer’s title, APRC 2WD driver’s title (Karamjit Singh) and APRC Junior driver’s title (Akira Bamba). Meanwhile, in the Japan Rally, Shuhei Muta also drove the Satria Neo to win the JN3 Class title.

Developed for the Japanese domestic market, the rally cars are sold by CUSCO to those competing in the Junior Rally Championships in Japan and Asia Pacific. Proton and Carosser have also jointly-developed Group N components for rally use on the Neo. A well known name in aftermarket performance parts, CUSCO is the only independent firm in Japan to compete in all categories of the All-Japan Championships: track racing, rallying, dirt trials and gymkhana.

“Besides the collaboration on vehicles, we are also looking to expand our business, not only in Malaysia, but globally in terms of jointly-developing performance parts and accessories together with Carroser,” said Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood, head of Proton Motorsports.

“The main objective of this joint-development is to further deepen the prosperous relationship with Proton Motorsports by presenting the Japanese market with a sporty automobile that has proven its capability as a solid motorsports base machine. Moreover, Carrosser will strive to dedicatedly support various teams and end users utilising Proton machines in any given genre of motorsports, especially the APRC,” said Carrosser President Tsutomu Nagase.