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First look: Proton reveals its slick new Satria

Imminent: All-new Satria goes on sale here in October.

Proton's MkII Satria breaks cover in Malaysia - four months ahead of Aussie sales

19 Jun 2006

MALAYSIAN car manufacturer Proton has launched its crucial new-generation Satria hatchback in its home market ahead of an Australian launch in October.

Following confirmation from Proton Cars Australia earlier this month that the all-new small-car range had been homologated for Australia and that final specifications had been signed off (but are still under wraps), the Satria made its world debut in Kuala Lumpur last week.

Known as the Satria Neo, the three-door hatchback sports a fresh new look and, as expected, is available with either a 1.3-litre or 1.6-litre version of Proton’s twin-cam, 16-valve, four-cylinder "CamPro" engine.

The 1332cc engine produces a maximum 70kW at 6000rpm and 120Nm at 4000rpm, while the 1597cc version can muster 82kW and 148Nm. Both engines are paired with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox.

With a 1159kg kerb weight, the 1.6 manual is claimed to reach 100km/h from standstill in 11.5 seconds, six-tenths ahead of the 1146kg 1.3-litre manual.

The autos are quite a bit slower, the 1184kg 1.6 managing a 0-100km/h time of 13.7 seconds and the 1172kg 1.3-litre model needing 16.0 seconds. Top speeds range from 175km/h to 190km/h, depending on the variant.

43 center imageClaimed fuel consumption figures are limited to a theoretical "90km/h constant". Based on this benchmark, which is at least indicative of its highway performance, the 1.3 manual returns 5.8L/100km and the auto 6.8, while the 1.6 manual/auto return 6.0 and 6.9L/100km respectively.

The Satria is shorter and taller than the previous model, resting on an identical 2440mm wheelbase and measuring 2905mm in overall length (down 1085mm), 1710mm in width (up 30mm) and 1420mm in height (up 60mm).

Front and rear tracks have also increased, measuring 1470mm at each end (up from 1450/1460mm front/rear).

As usual, the chassis is claimed to benefit from the involvement of the Proton-owned British sportscar brand Lotus. The suspension continues with MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link configuration at the rear, with a stabiliser bar at each axle.

The 1.3 rides on 195/55-series R15 tyres and the 1.6 on 195/50 R16s.

Three trim levels are offered overseas, with a driver and front passenger airbag and ABS brakes (with electronic brake-force distribution) restricted to a high-series 1.6 H-line variant.

The H-line auto is the sole recipient of cruise control, while 1.6-litre models benefit from front seatbelt pretensioners, a rear windscreen wiper, front foglights, electric mirrors, side protection mouldings, a rear roof spoiler, reverse-parking sensors and a vehicle tracking system.

Inside, 1.6-litre models get rear headrests, seatback pockets and an MP3-compatible stereo with related switchgear on a three-spoke tiller.

All models have a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, power windows, central locking, an alarm and a 60/40 split-fold rear seat.

The "minimalist" interior has received a thorough reworking, with the air-conditioning controls in particular going through a "redefinition of style" defying conventional wisdom with vertical rather than horizontal placement of the rotary dials.

Mainstream versions of the previous Satria were discontinued in Australia in January 2005, while the cult GTI sports model continued for a further 12 months. A new turbocharged GTI version is due for release next year.

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