PROTON SATRIA NEO OFFICIALLY GOES ON SALE IN JAPAN FROM 2012
PROTON Motorsports and renowned Japanese automotive parts manufacturer Carrosser Co., Ltd. (CUSCO) today unveiled the Satria Neo at the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon which will officially be on sale for enthusiasts and rally teams in Japan for motorsports use.
Carrosser is the official authorized PROTON reseller in Japan and is responsible for the importation and distribution of the Satria Neo in Japan.
The Satria Neo’s introduction in Japan is the result of PROTON Motorsports and Carrosser undertaking a joint-development to produce the Group N 1600cc Proton Satria Neo rally cars which was first put on display at the Tokyo Auto Salon in 2011.
A strong testament to the durability and performance, the Group N Proton Satria Neo rally cars competing in last year’s Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) went on to make a clean sweep of the 2WD categories. PROTON won the APRC 2WD Manufacturer’s title, the APRC 2WD driver’s title with Malaysia’s Karamjit Singh, and the APRC Junior driver’s title with Japanese driver Akira Bamba. Meanwhile, in the Japan Rally, Shuhei Muta also drove the Satria Neo to win the JN3 Class champion.
Developed for the Japanese domestic market, the CUSCO-engineered Group N Proton Satria Neo rally cars are sold by CUSCO to competitors competing in the Junior Rally Championships in Japan and Asia Pacific.
“The introduction of the Satria Neo in the Japanese market will enable PROTON to cater to enthusiasts and rally teams competing in the niche motorsports market,” said Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood, the head of PROTON Motorsports.
PROTON and Carosser have also jointly-developed Group ‘N’ components for the Satria Neo for rally use.
“Besides the collaboration on vehicles, we are also looking to expand our business, not only in Malaysia, but globally in terms of jointly-developing performance parts and accessories together with Carroser.”
A well known company for producing top-of-the-line aftermarket performance parts for both the Japanese and international tuning markets, CUSCO is regarded as the only independent firm in Japan to compete in all categories of the All-Japan Championships: track racing, rallying, dirt trials and gymkhana.
Meanwhile, Carrosser President Tsutomu Nagase said the collaboration with PROTON Motorsports was in line with efforts to reinvigorate the Japanese motorsport industry.
“The honorable accomplishments of the Satria Neo in competition proved the great potential and high performance aspects of PROTON machines which can be applied anywhere in the world,” he said.
“The main objective of this joint-development is to further deepen the prosperous relationship with PROTON Motorsports by presenting the Japanese market with a sporty automobile that has proven its capability as a solid motorsports base machine. Moreover, Carrosser will strive to dedicatedly support various teams and end users utilizing PROTON machines in any given genre of motorsports especially the APRC.“
Also on display at the Tokyo Auto Salon are the Proton Artiga, a concept based on the Satria Neo, featuring a 1.6 liter supercharged power plant surrounded by lightweight carbon fiber body components, and the R3-developed 1.6-litre Saga.
Second from right, Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood, Head of PROTON Motorsports at Japan Auto Salon