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Steane Klose | Aug 29, 2008

Not a headline you'll stumble across every day but that's the news from Proton this week. The Malaysian manufacturer has announced it will be repositioning the Satria 3-door by slashing prices. To sweeten the deal, it will also be offering potential buyers the chance to win an Apple iPhone, just for putting their bum in the seat.

Proton has lobbed $2000 off the price of the entry level Satria Neo GX manual, which now starts at $14,990, while the automatic has come down $1000 to $16,990. Both still retain an impressive feature list including air-conditioning, reverse sensors, ABS anti-lock brakes with EBD, SRS dual front airbags, seat belt pre-tensioners, power steering, power windows, power mirrors, central locking with integrated remote keyless entry, alarm and immobiliser.

The savings continue to the up-spec GXR manual, dropping $1000 to $17,990, which receives 16" alloy wheels with Continental low-profile sport tyres, rear spoiler, cruise control (Auto only), auto climate control and front fog lights in addition to the same standard equipment seen on the GX Neo.

The move comes as Proton looks to improve the position of the Satria in a small car market saturated with solid performers. Billy Falconer, Proton Cars Australia's general manager of sales and operations, addressed the need to reposition the Satria;

"Satria Neo was the only model in the Proton range that was not ranked amongst the most competitively priced vehicles in its category and we knew it was due for a price revision. Currently the Persona and Gen.2 manuals are the best priced vehicles in the small passenger car category, the Savvy is the best priced in the light passenger car category and the Jumbuck is the best priced in the ute and cab chassis category, all based on manufacturer's recommended retail prices,"

Both Satria models still receive Proton's CamPro 1.6 litre twin-cam multi-valve engine producing 82kW of power and 148Nm of torque. Combined with a kerb weight of just 1159kgs, the Satria is quite a capable performer while still returning a combined city/highway fuel consumption average of 7.2 litres/100km (manual).

Macpherson struts take care of suspension duties up front while a multi-link setup handles the rear end, with front and rear sway bars fitted to minimise roll. Four wheel disc brakes come as standard as does the Lotus-inspired interior which features a sporty instrument cluster, steering wheel and body-hugging bucket seats.

Buyers will still receive Proton's three-year unlimited kilometre warranty with a seven-year anti-corrosion warranty and three year's 24 hour roadside assistance at no extra cost.

For those of you thinking about getting down to a Proton dealership, you'd better be quick as Proton will be offering potential customers the chance to win an 8GB Apple iPhone. There are five handsets to be won and all that's needed is a test drive before September 30th. So whether it's for the car or the phone, get down to your Proton dealership ASAP.

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