Proton Satria GTi

10 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Proton Satria GTi

Proton Satria

Proton Satria


A couple of weeks ago I was in Penang, Malaysia. Originally, it does not worth mentioning seeing a Proton there, as 70% of the country#8217;s cars are Proton. However, the car I saw is a Proton Satria GTi, which is still a fresh and rare scene in Malaysia.

If not a car lover, I might not pick the car out of all the similar Protons from the street.

Saying it beautiful is obviously a lie, so is saying it ugly. As most people knows, the best selling Proton, no matter in Malaysia or in Europe (in which UK is the biggest market), is the Compact / Persona. That is based on the Mitsubishi Lancer / Colt / Mirage of the previous generation.

The GTi, as its name says, is the hot version of the Compact hatch.

It is developed entirely by Lotus, the subsidiary of Proton. An evidence is provided by the Handling by Lotus badge at the tail, which proved that my recognition was correct. Lotus did not touch the 1.8-litre engine, which was still the old Mitsubishi design which looks good in specification sheet but does not have a really flat torque curve.

At 133hp and 119lbft, and the peaky character, the car is obviously unable to reach 60mph in the claimed 7.8 sec. In reality, the lack of power and speed is more obvious. At above 5000rpm, the engine becomes harsh and noisy.

Proton Satria

What Lotus touched is the chassis. revised anti-roll bar, springs, dampers, bushing, rack-and-pinion power steering, 16-inch alloy wheels and 205/45ZR tyres, reduced ride height, and then there is a set of aerodynamic kits which reduce lift to zero #8230; the result is a completely new driving experience. The feedback from the steering wheel is so rich that, accompany with fine body control, provides you full confidence of attacking a corner, persuades you to drive quicker and quicker. The ride quality is also surprisingly smooth, it does not seemed to be based on the old Mitsubishi.

Interestingly, Lotus has created the Astra OPC for Opel at the same time. However, the price advantage of the Proton means the OPC is not its direct competitor. It is more like the smaller Peugeot 206 GTi. The Peugeot is not as exciting to handle, but its styling and power from the 2-litre engine are enough to kill the Proton, let alone its reputation.

Worst of all, the interior of the Proton Satria GTi remains unchanged from the old Mitsubishi Colt, that is, boring design plus poor grade of plastic. Lotus did insert some fake aluminium panels to the dashboard and shifter, but can#8217;t hide the origin of the car. Without a good packaging, a good car to drive is not necessarily a desirable car.

The above report was last updated on 29 Nov 99. All Rights Reserved.

Proton Satria
Proton Satria
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