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A couple weeks ago I swapped my bike for a new Satria Neo CPS from Proton Center of Excellence for a 3-day test drive.

The Satria Neo is arguably one of the best looking hatch backs out on the road, and the CPS version has a few improvements that makes this even more so. The unit I came in a shiny black coat with the bigger rear spoiler, body kit, and the new 16″ rims that looks quite a lot better on the car compared to the original Neo’s “blink blink” rims.

Proton Satria Neo CPS
Proton Satria Neo CPS

On the inside, the improvement in workmanship can be clearly seen compared to some previous models. The dashboard is clean and minimalistic while sporting blue and yellow illumination that makes reading the speedometer and tachometer very easy in low light condition.

I particularly like the two-tone semi-bucket leather seats for the driver and front passenger. They are not only visually rather stunning, but strikes a balance between comfort and seat position rigidness when you need to keep yourself from sliding off the seat around a fast corner.

Proton Satria Neo CPS interior
Interior of the Satria Neo

The in-car entertainment unit scrolls out a “PROTON SYMPHONY” text whenever it is turned on, and while the sound system isn’t particularly high end, it does carry itself pretty well. No upgrades shall be necessary if you’re not an audiophile.

The one possible downside of the interior, depending on your body height, is the relatively low headroom for driver and front passenger. At 5’6 I am still quite comfortable with it, but I reckon those who are over 6′ tall would have a harder time especially if you are those who likes to sit closer to the steering wheel.

Satria Neo CPS Sports Rims
the 16″ Sports Rims with 195 50 R16 tyres

Other than styling and slight interior changes, the Satria Neo CPS differs from the regular Satria Neo in another crucial item, the engine. While the regular 1.6 Satria gets 110hp (112ps), the 1.6 liter Campro CPS engine in this car gets 125ps at 6500 rpm and 150 Nm of torque at 4500 rpm. That’s a good 10% increment achieved by a variable valve lift system in the new motor which Proton refers to as Cam Profile Switching, hence the acronym CPS. This is similar to DVVT, VTTI, VTEC and other technologies.

Proton Satria Neo CPS
Rear shot, Proton Satria Neo CPS

3 days and some 200 km later, I must say that the car did not disappoint. Handling, especially around the bends was very good, the car felt steady and there is minimal body roll. Sound insulation is another aspect that I really like about this car, while you can hear the engine roar above 4-5k rpm, outside traffic noise is rather muted (view video taken in the Smart Tunnel below).

Fuel consumption also seems to be pretty good for this car. I collected this car with the gauge pointing at half tank, and returned it with slightly less than 1/4 tank after closed to 200km of mixed highway and city driving.

more photos at flickr set

The Satria Neo CPS goes for RM 57,763 (Manual) and RM 60,763 (Automatic Transmission), that is a lot of car for the money. Price quoted from Proton Edar.

Proton Satria R3 with SSO Body Kit

At just inside the main gate of Sepang Circuit during the A1 GP inaugural race parked the Proton SSO Satria R3. The car wore the similar color as those running for A1 GP Proton Pro Celebrity Race, with the extra carbon fiber hood. I was there for the A1 GP practice session

The satria is equipped with Yokohama A048 semi slick and has the back seat and panel stripped to reduce weight. Standard seats were swapped with bucket seats and 5 point harness. That was whatever I was able to observed. I believe engine wise there aren’t much that they tinkled with, but I could be wrong.

Proton Satria R3 with SSO Body Kit

Proton Satria R3 with SSO Body Kit
Rear view, with the illustrious Paul Tan at the background.

Proton Satria R3 with SSO Body Kit
You can see that the back seats are gone

Proton Satria R3 with SSO Body Kit