IN a recent press conference discussing the Proton S70, Proton’s CEO, En Roslan Abdullah, confirmed a significant development – the exploration of an R3 performance version for the Proton S70.
En Roslan emphasised that the potential R3 variant would be more than just a visual enhancement, distancing itself from the aesthetics-focused Proton X50 R3 edition. The company is focused on delivering a comprehensive performance package rather than a cosmetic makeover.
He also said that the company, absent from the S1K race for several years due to the lack of a suitable racing car, sees potential in the Proton S70 to re-enter competitive racing. The S70 R3, if realised, might follow the legacy of Proton’s earlier performance models, especially the Satria GTi R3 and the Satria Neo R3, known for its tuned engines, lightweight materials, and performance enhancements.
Commenting on the Proton S70 R3 version, En Roslan said, “We are working on an R3 S70 model and are looking at this model to return to the S1K. This will however take some time as we will need to work with a number of stakeholders to ensure its viability.”
“We have stayed away from the S1K race for a few years now because we did not have a car that we could go racing with. And we did not want to compete just for the sake of competing, but with the S70, that might just change,” he continued.
The Proton S70, with its turbocharged 1.5-litre 3-cylinder engine puts out 150PS and 226Nm of torque which is transferred to the front wheels through a 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission. As we found out during a recent test drive, it also offers impressive handling, which makes it a potential platform for a race winning car. Look out for our review from the recent drive to Penang.
Proton’s strategic move to explore R3 performance enhancements for the S70 aligns with its commitment to delivering vehicles that not only look impressive but also offer a thrilling and dynamic driving experience. The potential rebirth of the R3 division as a performance enhancer with the Proton S70 R3 has the potential to reignite Proton’s presence in the racing scene as well as offering more exciting road going Protons, as before.
The Satria Neo R3, unveiled in 2008, was the last fire-breathing Proton R3. It featured a naturally aspirated 1.6-litre engine, sportier body kit, 17-inch wheels, lowered suspension, improved braking, Recaro seats, and a MOMO steering wheel.
It may not be far-fetched to think that Proton enthusiasts can anticipate a similar performance boost for the S70 R3, making it a long-awaited addition to the brand’s performance-oriented lineup.
If the plans materialise and R3 is revived as a more than an aesthetics enhancer, enthusiasts can potentially also expect upgrades such as a full exhaust kit, performance coils, and interior enhancements such as bucket seats and more. The future for Proton and R3 seems exciting.
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