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Car Info: History of Proton Satria

Proton Satria, Malaysia first hatchback from Proton. Simialr to the earlier Proton Saga/Iswara and Proton Wira, the Proton Satria is also a rebadged model from Mitsubishi. It is a rebadge of the 4th generation year 1991 Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback. The 4th generation CA chassis Mitsubishi Mirage is mechanically similar with the 6th generation CB chassis Mitsubishi Lancer which formed the basis of the Proton Wira.

The 1991 Mitsubishi Mirage is available in various different range of spec and engine options. Lower end models are powered by a carbureted Mitsubishi 1.3 litre 4G13 SOHC engine which eventually was adopted by the Satria later on.

The Mirage Super R which is the highest spec variant during launch in 1991 are powered by Mitsubishi 1.6 litre 4G92 DOHC engine before the arrival of the of Mirage Cyborg R that replaces it as the highest spec variant. Though the Mirage Cyborg R is still powered by the same 4G92 DOHC engine, but it had gained more power with the addition of MIVEC variable valve timing technology.

The front bumper of this Mirage sedan was adopted later by the Proton Satria, Proton Putra and also the Proton Wira. Please see here for the rest of the bumper description for all Mitsubishi Mirage. 

The Proton Satria was released in November 1994, just 3 years after the introduction of the original 4th generation Mitsubishi Mirage 3 door hatchback. The front end design of the Satria is the same as the Wira with front bumper adopted from the 4th generation Mirage sedan while the hood and grille are designed by Proton. The rear design is unchanged from the Mirage hatchback.

At launch, the Satria was available in 2 different engine options which is the 1.3 GL and 1.6 XLi. The 1.3 litre models were only available in 5 speed manual transmission while the 1.6 XLi can be had with either a 5 speed manual or 4 speed automatic transmission

The Satria 1.6 XLi is powered by this 4G92 SOHC engine, sourced from Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC). Though the engine code is 4G92, it is different from the 4th generation Mirage engine as those were DOHC 4G92 while the ones found in Satria are SOHC 4G92 which wasn't available for those Mirage sold in Japan. This 4G92 SOHC engine is the same engine found in the Proton Wira 1.6 XLi.

The Satria 1.6 XLi is a well equipped car during that time. Similar to the Wira 1.6 XLi, it had features like a rheostat to control the illumination of the gauges, electric side mirrors and even cruise control.

For the suspension, Satria had an independent rear multi link suspension like Mirage and Wira but the Satria 1.6 XLi had a different suspension setting compared to the Satria 1.3 GL. The Satria 1.6 XLi had stiffer suspension settings due to larger, stiffer shock absorbers and coil springs compared to the Satria 1.3 GL. In order to improve handling, the Satria 1.6 XLi had rear anti roll bar equipped while the Satria 1.3 GL does not come with a rear anti roll bar. The brakes on the Satria 1.6 XLi are also larger than the 1.3 GL and it comes with rear disc brakes. Satria 1.6XLi is equipped with 14 inch wheels while Satria 1.3 GL is only equipped with 13 inch wheels.

The rear lamp of the Satria was directly adopted from the 4th generation Mirage with no changes at all and the Stanley Electric Japan was the manufacturer. 

The rear quarter glass of the Satria are fully imported from Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) in Japan. 

This Satria 1.3 GL over here had much lesser features compared to the 1.6 XLi. It does not have the side moulding trim found in the 1.6 XLi. The bumpers, door handles and side mirrors were also unpainted. The rear brakes are drum instead of disc. It is also worth to mention that the 1.3 GL does not come with a rear wiper unlike the 1.6 XLi

The door trim of the Satria 1.3 GL had a more simple design paired lower quality material unlike the soft touch material found in the 1.6 XLi. Though power windows are still available in the 1.3 GL, the controls were relocated to the centre console near the hand brake.

The MMC 4G13 SOHC engine is equipped to the Satria 1.3 GL and it is the similar engine that we can found in Proton Saga/Iswara and Wira 1.3 GL. This engine itself is the same as the one found in the lowest spec 4th generation Mirage.

In 1996, the Satria received a facelift. This facelift completely changes the rear end design of the Satria. As you can see, the registration plate holder position had been moved up to the rear bonnet which had a different design. The rear bumper were changed as well as the rear lamps. The front grille of the Satria had also been changed in this facelift. 

The rear end of the Satria is now completely different than the 4th generation Mirage and parts weren't interchangeable anymore without chassis modification.

The facelift Satria 1.3 GL which still retained the unpainted bumpers, door handles and side mirrors but eventually had been given painted bumpers, door handles and side mirrors. A rear wiper was provided as well. 

In 1998, the most famous Proton Satria was launched, the Satria GTi. It had a different exterior with more aggressive styling such as a new front bumper design that integrates with the grille, different rear bumper design with twin exhaust muffler exit, flared wheel arches and larger side mouldings.

The Satria GTi is equipped with the same 4G93 DOHC engine like the Putra and Wira 1.8 EXi. It also had its chassis reinforced with extra weldings. It also had Recaro seats and although it had lost the Momo steering, it was replaced by a steering with an airbag for added safety.

The suspension setting is entirely different than the Putra as the Satria GTi received suspension tuning from Lotus. The suspension is stiffer and the anti roll bar size had also been enlarged. The Satria GTi also rides on larger 16 inch wheels with 205/45/R16 tyres for better stability and handling. Though the one pictured here is no longer on its stock wheels.

The Satria GTi is only available in 5 speed manual transmission. Early batches of Satria GTi was equipped with the old Proton emblem like the one pictured here. Later batches had changed their emblem into the newer Proton emblem with a tiger.

In 1999, the 4G13 engine of the Satria 1.3 GL was updated with electronic fuel injection system. The Satria 1.3 had been renamed as Satria 1.3 GLi. The seats for the Satria 1.3 GLi were also changed into these ones with a flowery kind of design.

In 2001, a new Satria variant was introduced, the Satria 1.5 GLi. The Satria 1.5 GLi is based on the Wira 1.5 GLi and it had the same grille with the Putra and the Wira 1.5 GLi. The Satria 1.5 GLi is powered by the 4G15 engine with electronic fuel injection like the Wira 1.5 GLi.

The electronic fuel injection module and components were also changed for the Satria 1.3 GLi and Satria GTi 4G93. Instead of using parts from Mitsubishi (MMC), the parts are now locally made by Siemens VDO, a German company. Several things have been changed such as the change from a mechanical based distributor found in earlier MMC into a fully electronic distributor. More additional sensors were also added into the VDO 4G13. Power is also slightly reduced in VDO powered units compared to the earlier MMC ones.

In 2004, another Satria variant was introduced. It was named as the Satria Special Edition or Satria SE and it was painted in this bright yellow as its signature colour. The Satria SE was launched at around the same time as the Wira SE where both of these cars had similar features and equipment. The front grille, front bumper and rear spoiler for this Satria SE had been changed. A side skirt is also added on over here. The head lamps are also smoked and it had the same 16 inch wheels like the Wira SE.

The Satria SE had a different gear knob and a gear console that is similar to the Satria GTi. The steering wheel had also been changed into a 3 spoke design featuring the new Proton emblem. The seats of the Satria SE with a fishnet headrest is different than other Satria. The meter cluster of the Satria SE had also been changed with different font styling and a yellow background for the speedometer.

In year 2004, the final Satria variant was introduced. The Satria R3 over here was based on the Satria GTi with several performance enhancements. The Satria R3 was tuned by R3 which is Proton's Motorsport Division and it had a limited run of 150 units.

The stiffened body of the Satria GTi was further strengthened by double stitch welding. Sound deadening material were also removed. Braking power had also been enhanced with larger cross drilled brake rotors. The wheel design was also changed for the Satria R3 and the rear spoiler is now made from carbon fiber.

Engine wise, the ECU had been retuned by R3 and the exhaust system had been upgraded with stainless steel extractor and rear sports muffler. The Satria GTi spark plug cover was replaced by a carbon fiber R3 cover.

The interior of the Satria R3 had also been reworked with a red and black fabric theme. The seats are also upgraded into Recaro SR4 seats instead of the Recaro N Joy seats found in the Satria GTi. The steering wheel no longer came with an airbag as it was replaced by a Momo Tuner steering wheel and the gear knob was made from carbon fiber.

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