The Satria series started from a car based on the fourth-generation Mitsubishi Mirage / Mitsubishi Colt in 1994. It progressed to models designed in-house by Proton Holdings in later generations. With Proton Holdings buying up Lotus Cars in 1996, succeeding generations benefitted from Lotus' research and technologies particularly in suspension and other mechanical components.
Proton, an acronym for Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional (National Automobile Company), has been producing and marketing rebadged Mitsubishi Motors Corp cars since the 1980s and has advanced to producing vehicles entirely designed by their people.
The Proton Satria series is composed entirely of subcompact 3-door hatchback versions with numerous trim levels and engine options. This was Proton's entry for the small-sized sporty car class that was popular as self-driven everyday cars.
Proton Satria (C96, C97, C98 & C99), 1994-2006
While the Proton Satria was based on the fourth-generation Mirage/Colt, it differed slightly particularly in the front façade, which it shared from the Proton Wira. It also took interior components from the Wira, but other than those changes, this was basically a rebadged MMC Mirage.
During its introduction in Australia, two petrol engine options were available. The GL and GLi were powered by a 1.5L Mitsubishi 4G15 (66 kW / 126 N⋅m) with either a 3-speed auto or 5-speed manual gearbox. The XLi came with the 1.6L Mitsubishi 4G92 SOHC (70 kW / 138 N⋅m) coupled to a choice of either a 4-speed auto or a 5-speed manual gearbox.
A short-lived engine option was available in other world markets, the 1.3L Mitsubishi 4G13 SOHC that produced 56-63 kW depending on the region.
Proton Satria GTi, 1998-2005
Proton released a GTi variant was released in 1998 with a bigger 1.8L Mitsubishi 4G93P (the P was for Proton) DOHC (103 kW / 164 N⋅m). The Proton Satria GTi sported a body kit designed by Lotus in England to improve its aerodynamics together with improved handling components and had a “Handling by Lotus” badge on the rear hatch. Powered by a naturally-aspirated 4G93 with a higher compression ratio than the Mitsubishi turbocharged version, the GTi was able to achieve an impressive 7.8 seconds on the 0-100 km/h. Top speed was advertised at 202 km/h making this one of the fastest Protons ever produced.
An upgrade to the interior included Recaro seats and other trim improvements. The Lotus badge was not just a promotional item, but continuously improved handling, making this car handle well on straight or twisting roads and capable of putting the power to good use. Braking was equally up to the job with its ventilated front discs cooled from the functional front air dam and rear solid rotor discs in the rear all of which are controlled by an anti-lock braking system.
Proton Satria R3, 2004-2007
Coming from the original Satria, the Satria R3 developed by Proton’s R3 division (Race, Rally, Research) was powered by the same 4G93P that powered the GTi but with a new free-flow exhaust system. The Satria R3 was an improved GTi with suspension components tweaked by Lotus and upgraded with a double-stitch welded chassis to increase its structural rigidity. It added front and rear suspension strut braces, uprated springs and dampers and thicker anti-roll bars.
The modification removed the sound-deadening material and airbag to reduce the car's overall weight to 995 kg. It removed the ABS and replaced the brake rotors with cross-drilled and slotted DBA (Disc Brake Australia) units with Mintex Racing brake pads in all four corners. Lightweight 16-inch alloy Advanti alloy wheels with Yokohama Advan AD07 tyres replaced the ones used on the GTis. The roof spoiler was also changed to carbon fibre. There were latter options (Stage 2 and 3) that became available, giving more options to upgrade engine performance and handling further.
Proton Satria Neo (BS3 & BS6), 2006-2015
By this time, it was Proton that completely designed and manufactured the Satria Neo. Still retaining the 3-door hatchback sporty body design, the Satria Neo now came powered by the new CamPro series engines designed and produced by Proton.
The Satria Neo was made available with two petrol engine options – the 1.3L CamPro S4PE DOHC (70 kW / 120 N⋅m) and the 1.6L CamPro S4PH DOHC (82 kW / 148 N⋅m). Transmission options were either the 4-speed auto or the 5-speed manual gearbox. All Satria Neo cars sold in Australia were equipped with the 1.6L engine and trims came as Neo G, Neo GX or Neo GXR.
Proton released the Satria Neo with a CPS engine in 2009 and a sportier body kit package reminiscent of the Satria GTi. The new 1.6L CamPro CPS DOHC (93 kW / 150 N⋅m) powered it. As a sports-oriented offering, the CPS engines’ cam profile switching was modified to activate at 4,000 rpm rather than at 3,800 rpm as seen in other Proton cars.
Proton Satria Neo R3, 2008
The Satria Neo R3 was the successor to the Satria R3. It is a high-performance Satria Neo that produced 18 kW more power with additional 16 N⋅m of torque. Only 50 units of these were produced and came with the R3 body kit, all painted in R3's incognito black.
It was equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, lowered suspension and enhanced suspension and braking components. The interior was fitted with Recaro seats and Momo steering wheel and shift knob.
Proton Satria Neo R3 Lotus Racing
Only 25 units of the Satria Neo R3 Lotus Racing, the R3 version of the Satria CPS, were ever produced. Sporting the same interior and exterior body packages seen on the Satria Neo R3, this version was tuned by Proton’s R3 division with improved engine management system, camshafts and exhaust systems together with R3 carbon fibre intake with K&N filter system. The improved 1.6L CamPro CPS was now producing 108 kW with torque rated at 168 N⋅m.
Proton Satria Neo R3 RS, 2011
The next successor Neo R3 had a newly designed body kit and was now based on the specifications of the Neo R3 Lotus Racing version. The interior and exterior add-ons were also built-in, but the wheels were 16-inch aluminium alloys. Production was limited to 150 units and was only available in bright red body color. Stage 2 performance package was available which included performance cams, pulleys, spark plugs, bump steer kit, engine mounts performance bushings and a front aero splitter. R3 stage 3 performance package was available which featured a 4-1 performance header together with all the Stage 2 upgrades.
Owning a Proton Satria
There are many desirable models in the Satria range, with the GTi being one of the best options. With Lotus still a significant influence on the suspension and other mechanical innovations of the Satria, these cars offered a great driving experience for a relatively lower price than others in its class.
Want to own one? Do you need parts for the Satria? Are you selling a Satria or parts for it? Visit us at Carpart.com.au and see why we are a premier source of used cars and parts in Australia. Or better yet, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you need.