It’s the Satria Neo R3 Lotus Racing Edition, an exclusive version developed to celebrate Proton’s involvement with Lotus Racing in this years F1 championship. The ‘R3’ indicates that this car has been a project of Proton’s Motorsports Division (‘R3’ stands for ‘Race, Rally, Research’) and while past R3 editions may have been just ‘look fast’ jobs with no change in performance, the Lotus Racing Edition is more than just looks; it had to have a level of performance which would make it worthy of sharing the Lotus racing heritage and success.
Besides reducing overall weight by around 62 kgs, the aim of enhancing performance was also achieved by fine-tuning the airflow over the car. The frontal areas have optimized surfaces that divert airflow more efficiently around the car and reduce turbulence and drag. The result is better stability at higher speeds plus increased downforce as less air is allowed to get under the car. Under the rear, a diffuser helps to disperse the airflow with less turbulence-inducing drag.
The distinctive bodywork is finished in Lotus Racing Green, a traditional colour on historically significant British sportscars, with a yellow racing stripe running from front to back.
With a number of years of experience in making Proton models hotter, R3 already had a lot of ideas about what to do to enhance the performance of the Satria Neo for this special version. However, the idea was not to create an ‘extreme’ car for racing but one which would provide pleasurable driving performance that would make an enthusiast would smile.
For each unit of the Lotus Racing Edition, R3 provides a specially-developed 1.6-litre CamPro CPS engine which produces 145 bhp (20 bhp more than the standard engine) and 168 Nm (18 Nm more). The R3-programmed engine management system allows the engine to spin another 1000 rpm to 7000 rpm where it develops peak power and also moves the torque peak to 5000 rpm, from 4500 rpm in the standard engine.
Performance claims are a 0 – 100 km/h time of 9.2 seconds (1.3 seconds better than the standard car) and a top speed of 200 km/h (10 km/h more). Incidentally, only a 5-speed manual transmission is available – but who would want an automatic with this car anyway?
[For ultra high-performance tyres, visit www.goodyear.com.my]
Another first for a production Proton model is the use of massive 4-pot AP Racing calipers and ventilated discs for the front brakes. ABS and EBD are present, of course.
Unlike modified versions which may be developed by independent companies, the Lotus Racing Edition, being developed by R3 which is a subsidiary of Proton, has to meet the high standards of quality and safety of the manufacturer. This is especially so since the model is marketed by Proton and will be supported by the usual factory warranties. However, it is understood that the non-standard Satria Neo parts will have a ‘limited warranty’.
For more information on the Satria Neo R3 Lotus Racing Edition or other Proton models, visit www.proton-edar.com.my .