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by George Skentzos

The previous generation Proton Satria GTi has developed its own cult fan base, and now Proton has produced a new incarnation of the popular hot hatch, bypassing the GTi namesake with its new R3 Satria.

Developed by Proton’s special vehicles and motorsport arm – Race, Rally, and Research – the R3 Satria combines a distinct and aggressive aerokit with trademark suspension improvements derived from Lotus engineering.

Proton is yet to disclose the power output or even the type of powertrain which will be used in the R3 Satria, however expect a significant increase over the Campro 1.6-litre engine currently used in the standard Satria.

Melbourne Motor Show: Proton R3 Satria and new Persona

“While we can’t reveal too many details at this time, Satria GTi enthusiasts can rest easy in the knowledge that a performance version of the new Satria is not too far away and the R3 Satria is evidence of that,” Proton Cars Australia managing director John Startari.

Alongside the R3 Satria, Proton’s new four-door Persona sedan also made its Australian debut at the Melbourne Motor Show.

Melbourne Motor Show: Proton R3 Satria and new Persona

The Persona offers universal appeal as a practical and affordable entry-level four-door sedan, perfect for first car buyers or new families.

Producing maximum power of 82kW at 6000rpm and 148Nm, the Persona delivers stunning fuel economy, using just 4.5ltr/100km on the highway cycle for the manual transmission.

Melbourne Motor Show: Proton R3 Satria and new Persona

Active and passive safety features include ABS, EBD, as well as passenger and driver SRS airbags, combined with four-wheel disc brakes and agile handling.

Combined with a spacious 430-litre boot capacity, the Persona is a highly practical and affordable new family car.

  • Richo

    i actually think this new R3 has potential.. i mean it has a lotus tuned chasis which surely has to be a good thing, it looks kinda cool if its got a decent engine, perhaps a turbo version of the cam-pro with around 140kw or something like that and it has a price of under 25k this could be a real little bargain!

  • Allan

    I was told by a Malaysian friend that the R3’s engine is normally aspirated 1.6 litres. Although Proton has a new Campro engine with valve timing and variable intake manifold, its not fitted in the R3. In fact the R3’s so called Campro engine is just a normal 1.6 engine from the Persona but with a tuned ECU and better intake/exhaust to bump up power to 135bhp. And the R3 doesnt get airbags, ABS or ESP.

  • Richo

    so around the 100kw mark you reckon… hmm it’ll want to be pretty damn light and have a close ratio gearbox if its going to have the kind of performance it will need! Atleast it has ESP.

    Oh and Proton calls all of its engine “CamPro” so thats nothing unusual. It’s a bit strange though that the engine is a 100% lotus design, yet it apparently has a serious lack of torque.. i would have thought lotus would have designed a good enough engine

  • Richo

    100kw would make it more grunty then the suzuki swift sport i guess… which along with the ford fiesta xr4 will most likely be its main rival

  • Allan

    No it doesnt get ESP either. Its a good looking car, but the engine is a let down. Already lacking torque, it doesnt even rev much. For a track biased hot hatch, they should have at least given it an engine that would rev like the old skool honda B series engines.

  • http://solleh.ourstreamyx.com Alson Pang

    The car I drove was the development unit and some specifications differ. For one, the Neo R3 will come with slotted front brake discs and Mintex M1144 performance brake pads, but the car you see here had the stock brake discs and brake pads fitted.

    The wheels are also not the same – the test unit came with 17 inch Enkei alloys, but the production Satria Neo R3 will come with Advanti SG15 17×7 inch wheels. The tyres are the right ones though – Bridgestone Potenza RE001 Adrenalin in 205/40R17 size, but even these were not in the best condition when I picked the car up. Nevertheless, the Adenalins are fantastic tyres and I am using them on my Proton Perdana.

    The 1.6 liter Campro engine under the hood is the original Campro – no IAFM, no CPS, no VIM, no nothing. The only thing it has is R3’s touch – new 8mm spark plug cables, an R3 tuned exhaust system and an R3 ECU with remapped settings. All of this boosts power up to 135 horsepower at 6,100rpm and torque up to 164Nm at 4,200rpm, which exceeds the usual normally aspirated 100Nm per liter of displacement ratio, so that’s quite impressive.

  • http://solleh.ourstreamyx.com Alson Pang

    The Proton Satria Neo R3 definitely has the looks and a suspension setup that promises oodles of weekend fun, but the engine really leaves something to be desired. R3 should definitely look at doing a second run of the Neo R3 if/when the Neo gets the Campro CPS engine. With stock power levels of 125 horsepower, it should be possible to push the CPS engine to nearly 160 horsepower, with plenty of kick across the whole rev range. Also, the car’s full “track-throughbredness” potential could not be sampled through this test unit because the brakes were standard.

  • http://solleh.ourstreamyx.com Alson Pang

    I can see what Proton is trying to do with the new Proton Persona sedan. Families want refinement and general quietness in their drive. They don’t want anything trashy or noisy. That explains the choice of tyres. The NVH is also significantly improved over the Satria Neo especially – and better than the GEN2 of course. There is minimal loud and boomy engine noise towards the redline. It sounds rather refined really. The Campro engine had an appealing sound in the manual transmission car. It had a pleasant growl that was not overpowered by vibration or metallic notes, and despite going way over the 6,500rpm redline it felt like it could still go – rev cut off was a little more than 7,000rpm.

    As for the Campro engine, it is pretty much the same as previous units. Still the same 110 (82kW) horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 148Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. There is still a general lethargy with the throttle at low to mid engine speeds, but the engine shines at high revs. This engine still does not have the Bosch Variable Intake Manifold system yet, but the automatic model does have an improved TCU. The improved TCU or Transmission Control Unit seems more intelligent now, making up for the Campro’s unfortunately torque curve shape by having no qualms about downshifting when needed with reduced delay, and the shifts are rather smooth.

    There is nothing new about the Campro engine in this car really in terms of performance; it’s just that improved sound dampening have managed to make the car in a whole appear more refined. But there are some design enhancements over the original GEN2 Campro engines that have served to make the engine more reliable.

  • Big Fatn

    Where’s the volvos?

  • akir-malaysia

    australians! dont worry… probly, next year the car will be in ur neighbourhood.. cuz, campro will be in turbo charged mode next year… yah i knw, its late for them to caome out with it, but it may worth the wait rite? if peter solber thinking of drivin in a neo, why dont we?