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The Path Of Neo

With the Proton Satria Neo going into its 8th year of production we can confidently affirm it to be a successful successor to the original Proton Satria. Originally available in either 1.3-liter or 1.6-liter, the Neo proved itself to be popular amongst young motoring enthusiasts. Owners have praised the Neo for its good chassis and Lotus-derived handling.

Its popularity has allowed Proton to spawn various versions, most notably the R3 version of the Satria Neo. The team from Race Rally Research set the benchmark for this version by extracting the most out of the engine to achieve 135bhp, along with an aerokit, 17-inch wheels, upgraded brakes and suspension, Recaro seats and a MOMO steering wheel. Other special versions include the Satria Neo Clubsport and Satria Neo R3 Lotus Racing, as well as racing versions like the Satria Neo Super 2000 rally car and Satria Neo CUSCO Edition.

This particular Neo is the CPS version, which as the name suggests is equipped with the CamPro CPS motor. The cam profile switching mechanism improved the torque curve of the new engine and bumped up horsepower to 125. These new motors are very rev-happy and with the right upgrades can give you enough fun for spirited driving on the street and/or tight roads.

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So what do you really need when it comes to selecting the essential parts without hurting your wallet? Well, this fine example here has all the basic performance upgrades (bpu) and is a good guide for budding enthusiasts. When in doubt, a good place to start is by upgrading the intake and exhaust. This one has been fitted with a K&N intake kit and a Works Engineering 4-1 extractor into a custom exhaust system. Other bpu include the iridium spark plug and spark plug cable, a fuel pressure regulator, an oil catch tank, and a set of HKS cam pulleys to make it just a bit more aggressive. This model benefits from a 5-speed manual gearbox which has been given an Exedy Super Single clutch set.

Engine aside, it is the handling which makes the Neo attractive to buyers. Stiffer suspension and better brakes are good upgrades to turn the Neo from a great handling car to a GREAT handling car, and this Neo has everything to make it GREAT. Doing away with the stock suspension is now replaced with an aftermarket setup consisting of a HWL adjustable kit, HKS adjustable upper pillow ball, and Velocity alloy lower arms. A fair bit of bracing has also been injected into the chassis consisting of an Ultra Racing 2-point front strut bar, Ultra Racing 4-point rear lower bar, and an ASR Beaks rear subframe bar.

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The Neo is a lightweight going at the sub 1,120kg so you don’t necessarily need to get a big brake kit unless you’re chasing for the ultimate limit. What the owner has opted for are custom cross-drilled & slotted rotors instead, which sufficiently increases the braking efficiency. The wheels are bigger 17-inch Volk Racing TE37 wheels on Bridgestone Sneaker tyres (215/40R17) which give better road grip from its increase in size.

Setting the exterior can make or break a car, but luckily the Neo has local support from R3 which offers a complete bodykit to pull off its aggressive racecar appearance. Cutouts on the front and rear bumper add to the style and functionality. The bonnet, fenders and trunk appear to be off high quality FRP, but they are actually wrapped in Karbon sticker Kevlar gold. The Neo was never offered a sunroof option, so the owner took liberty of customizing his own with a Toyota item. The interior has been untouched with the owner only preferring to have a pair of SSCUS seats with the 3-point racing harness.

Hyperfacts!
Car: Proton Satria Neo CPS

Engine: S4PE14 CamPro CPS 1.6-liter inline 4-cylinder, Works Engineering extractor 4-1, Denso iridium spark plug, Arospeed spark plug cable 10.2mm, Arospeed fuel pressure regulator, HKS cam pulley, D1 Spec oil catch tank, K&N air filter, Samco Sport radiator hose

Electronics: Stock

Transmission: 5-speed manual gearbox, Exedy Super Single clutch set

Chassis & Handling: HWL adjustable HLSH, HKS upper pillow ball adjustable, Ultra Racing 2-point upper rear bar, Ultra Racing 2-point front strut bar, Ultra Racing 4-point rear lower bar, Velocity alloy lower arm, ASR Beaks rear subframe bar

Brakes: Custom cross-drilled & slotted rotors

Wheels & Tyres: Volk Racing TE37 wheels (17x8jj), Bridgestone Sneaker tyres (215/40R17)

Interior: SSCUS racing seat, SSCUS 3-point racing harness, R3 carpet

Exterior: Karbon sticker Kevlar gold (hood, fender & rear bonnet), R3 bodykit, Toyota sunroof

Garage: Matt Motorsport, GT Auto Sunway, Ants Art Studio

Words: Sean Eu
Photos: Kenny Yeoh