Thursday, March 10, 2011

VIDEO: Proton R3 Satria Neo first drive

Proton's R3 division have been very busy lately, working on race machines, special showcars and also limited run models like the R3 Satria Neo you see here.

Available only in fire red, the car is basically a more affordable version of the Lotus Racing Satria Neo which came with really nice high end componentry.

The rest of our first impression and the video is after the jump

For the R3 Neo, the team replaced the Ohlins dampers and AP brakes with R3's own recalibrated units that are based on the standard issue factory parts.

Luckily the R3 Neo gets to keep the lovely 145 horsepower unit and better still the engine has been further retuned to make it even more tractable.

To give it more room to play, R3 has brought the CPS activation point lower to 4,500rpm and and re-set the variable intake runners to switch to the short pipes at 5,500rpm so effectively the engine is on the boil from 4,500rpm all the way to the 7,500rpm redline.

Oh yes, the revcounter is still the standard item so it would still indicate a 6,250rpm redline and R3 is not shouting about the higher redline but I guess they will brief owners about it

With the shorter and stiffer springs and different wheel offset designed to fill the wider wheel arches, the car now comes with new alignment settings. The owner's manual comes with the new settings and owners have to inform their tyre shop of the new settings when getting the wheel alignment sorted out.

The really nice bits about the car is the front splitter, lowered seats, grippy steering and nappa leather on the seats.

Apart from the parts mentioned above, front splitter and the lovely close-ratio gearbox, R3 is selling the other performance parts as aftermarket so if you feel like upgrading the hot cams, recalibrated ECU, extractor, cat-back exhaust system, springs, rear spoiler, springs and wheels are all available at Proton Edar's platinum outlets.

At just a shade under RM80,000 the R3 Neo is great value, the chassis is beutifully sorted and now changes direction with a lot of confidence and predictability, it loves powering out of corners and simply tucks into the line with more throttle, the brakes are really impressive, stopping the car from 100km/h in around 35 metres.

Apaprently it reaches 400 centigrades without degradation...

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