Aussies want to revive Satria badge Down Under
Its chief operating officer Kaye Amies was quoted by CarAdvice as saying that the Australian subsidiary is discussing offering the five-seater hatchback in Australia a “Satria”.
The advantage of resurrecting the Satria badge was because Australians still fondly remembered the Satria GTi, last sold there in 2005.
Amies said the decision to bring back the Satria badge or stick with Iriz would hinge on the planned performance variant (Iriz R3), which is due to be revealed in late 2015 and could make its way to Australia the following year.
She said the R3 could be marketed as a “modern-day Satria GTi in our market”, but it would have to live up to the history of the badge.
“The Satria GTi… a lot of people remember that,” Amies said.
“We’re sort of thinking if we bring this car out (as the Iriz), and then [an] R3 [sports variant launches] – they’re thinking that they might do a more racy version – because of that we’re thinking, ‘Should we be doing that (using the Iriz name) or not?’
Amies said the Iriz name had raised some eyebrows in Australia, though she said she had no hesitations in using the global name if it could not be changed.
“It was a bit funny because a few people said, ‘Aww, it’s really a girl’s name, so it sort of makes it a girl’s car, doesn’t it?’ I said, ‘Do you think a Lotus Elise is a girl’s car?’
“The Satria GTi was such a well-known car and so many people wanted it. People still ask us have we got any.
“We’d need to look at it (the R3), see what it looks like, see what it’s going to do. Is it just going to be something that blows out through a little tailpipe and makes a lot of noise and does nothing, or is it actually going to be a bit sporty?”
“We’re still having discussions with Malaysia in terms of what their thoughts are about it and all that. We’ll discuss it with them and try to come to some resolution …(in the new year).”
A decision on the name would most likely be finalised this month, she added.
One potential option for the sport variant would be the 1.6 litre turbocharged engine from the larger Suprima S hatch which had 138hp and 205Nm of torque on tap.
The old Satria GTi had a 1.8-litre engine, generating 138hp of power and 164Nm of torque that produced a 0-100km/h sprint time of 7.8 seconds.
The standard Iriz variants sold in Malaysia have two engine options — a 94hp/120Nm 1.3-litre and a 107hp/150Nm 1.6-litre.
Amies expected the sticker prices for the stock Iriz/Satria to start from just under $A15,000 (RM42,803).
She said the Iriz/Satria is currently being crash-tested by ANCAP, with results to be released in the new year.
Proton Australia recently announced that it was reducing its lineup from six to three.
Proton’s Gen2 hatchback city-car, Persona, and S16 sedan were to be discontinued after all existing stock was sold, leaving the Exora, Suprima S, and Preve as the only models on offer.