#startupmonday: Proton Satria Neo


Proton’s Satria hatchback is perhaps one of the most iconic Malaysian cars. Partly because it was Malaysian made, but partially also because there was a good list of mods you could plonk in to make your car go faster. Back when I was in college, the Satria GTI was the local response to most yaya papaya Honda Civics and BMW 3-series from that era (early 2000s).

Our feature car for this week’s #startupmonday is Proton’s three-door hatchback, a second-generation Satria Neo. With the first generation Satria produced from 1994 to 2005, the Satria Replacement Model, also known as the Proton Satria Neo, was produced from June 2006 to 2015. It also holds the accolade as the only Proton model to be sold in Japan.

Two engine variants were available for the Neo; powering the entry level variant was a 1.3-litre twin-cam four-pot mill that produced 94 hp and 120 Nm. The higher spec’d M-line and H-line models had the same engine but with a larger bore at 1.6-litres, with outputs pegged at 110 hp and 148 Nm. These were offered in either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmissions which were carried over from the first-generation Satria, originally supplied by Mistubishi.

In 2009, Proton launched the Satria Neo CPS variant which essentially replaced the H-line. Aesthetic changes included a more aggressively styled body-kit and a spoiler that paid homage to the first-generation Satria GTi. While the powerplant remained the same, it had a higher state of tune – 125 hp with 150 Nm, completing the century sprint in 9.3 seconds and had a top speed of 240 km/h.

There were later several limited editions released to the Malaysian market, which were fettled by Proton’s R3 division (Race, Rally, Research). These featured a better body-kit and more power, apart from several other engine and suspension tweaks.The first was the Satria Neo R3 (limited to 50 units, all in Incognito Black). The second was the Satria Neo R3 Lotus Racing which boasted 145 hp and 168 Nm, along with engine, chassis and brake upgrades.

You’d be right to imagine our feature car this week has been tuned. According to this car’s owner, the build’s goal was to get his car to perform better than stock, but also to run as smooth and painless as OEM. He set out to build a car that was a good and reliable daily driver (sans wet farts), with good fuel consumption but with enough power for touge weekends. Clearly, he’s managed to fit in a trackday or two as well.

A run on Mainline Dynamometers show 120 hp and 160 Nm; respectable and those torque figures should give enough poke for heading to the office and back. In our video below, you may note that this car farts, almost like a wet version of aural diarrhea, but man… we like. This was easily one of the loudest cars to show up the night of filming.

The car was tuned by RNR Autosport, engine rebuilt by Rampage Motorsports, and list of mods below:

4G93 twin cam
Stock OEM rebuild
OEM oversized pistons
OEM piston rings
OEM bearings
Mildly polished head
Mivec RS headers
Full 2.2″ cat back exhaust
FGK rear muffler
Mivec gearbox
Stock clutch
HWL coilovers
RE003 195/55/15
Engine electronics by LinkEcu G4+ Storm – full closed loop control

By the way, some of this week’s photos are courtesy from Neil S Media; you can follow him on Facebook here and Instagram here.


About Author


From supercar spotting on the streets of Kuala Lumpur, Won has moved onto the realms of motoring journalism since 2011. He has a keen eye for automotive photography, a penchant for fast cars, and the occasional hunger for munching corners.

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