This guide has been written for those seeking information,  history and detailed specifications for the Proton Satria GTI (also known as the Proton GTI 180 in some markets). This legendary non-turbo hot hatch has developed a big enthusiast following in the small number of markets in which it was offered new, so we thought it appropriate to consolidate the information available for the cars for the benefit of those keen enthusiasts.

The Satria (which was based on the Fourth generation Mitsubishi Mirage / Colt chassis) was substantially different to its base model counterpart, having been re-engineered by Lotus in the UK, which at the time was owned by Proton. Lotus made numerous aerodynamic and handling improvements to the car, which won over many motoring journalists and tuners. Further adding to the car’s desirability was the fact that it featured the 1.8 litre 4G93P engine (a non-turbo higher compression version of that found in the Lancer GSR).  This engine matched the car’s performance to its handling, and provided a fantastic base for tuners and weekend racers. Its popularity with tuners and entry level motorsport unfortunately has meant that many of the cars have been driven hard and many have been lost. This is great news for parts availability, but has meant that original complete units are rather thin on the ground: this is part of the motivation for writing this guide.

The Proton GTi’s competitors arguably include the Peugeot 206 GTi, the Nissan Pulsar SSS, the Honda Civic VTiR, the Ford Focus ST, the Ford Fiesta XR4 and the Renault Clio 2.0 16v Sport. There are likely many others, but that’s a start. The Satria was a special car because it came out of nowhere from the underdog brand Proton, which in the competitive UK and Australian markets was not well known at the time. It certainly gave those competitors a run for their money.

Production and markets:

The Satria GTI was built from 1998 – 2005, and was first offered as a 1999 model year car. The car was offered in four major RHD markets including Malaysia, Singapore, UK and Australia. A special edition “LE” model was also produced with some additional features (such as leather trim). Only 20 units were delivered to Australia (and an unknown number to other markets).Unfortunately it wasn’t offered in New Zealand, where we personally think it would have been a hit. It was offered in very limited numbers in some European markets (Germany being one of them), where it was known as the “Proton GTi” or the GTi 318 (and never wore a “Satria” badge).

In the UK the Satria GTi retailed at £14,500. In the Australian market, the GTi retailed for between $28,990 (according to Motor Magazine of April 2002) and $26,990 (based on numerous Wheels magazines from 2004 – 2005).

We have not been able to confirm total production numbers for the Proton Satria GTi. The only record of sales we have seen is confirmation that 160 units were sold in the UK market in the first 6-months after launch. Based on some forum discussion, we make a (guess) that export markets (UK & Australia in particular) would have received around 5,000 GTis in total. Presumably the Malaysian domestic market was much larger, given that there seem to be a many GTis available on Malaysian car sale sites. Conversely, looking on sales sites in Australia and the UK, numbers are really dwindling, and most ads are just for parts.


1. Exterior features - Proton Satria GTi

On the outside the GTi was one of the most outspoken sports hatches in its class, with a distinct body kit, wheels and a great stance. All GTis were finished in a silver grey paint colour (code AC16930).

  • Body kit:

A body kit was designed and fitted by Lotus for better aerodynamics. Features included:

  • Distinct wheel arch flares with exposed bolts, which connected to a sculpted side skirt panel.
  • Front and back sports bumpers/splitters: The front bumper integrated large air dams and fog lights, the back integrated rear fog lamps (inboard mounted) and reflectors (outboard mounted).
  • Unique twin “square” exhaust tips exit either side of the rear splitter.
  • A large rear spoiler was fitted to the tail gate. On the rare “LE” models, a small spoiler was also added below the rear window.
  • A sunroof was optional
  • Badging:

We have sighted several inconsistencies and changes with the GTis badging based on different years and in different markets. Some of our observations include:

  • Proton badge on LHS trunk lid
  • The Satria GTi also wore a 'Handling by Lotus' badge on the rear hatch.
  • Early cars appear to have (from top to bottom on the rear RHS of the hatch) “GTI”, over “16V” over “Handling by Lotus”. Sighted on cars 1999 – 2000 so far.
  • Late UK cars appear to have simply “GTI” over ”Handling by Lotus”
  • Later cars had “Satria” over “GTI” over “Handling by Lotus” (Australia consistently had this except early cars)
  • Precise positioning of badging appears to be inconsistent. Some are higher, some are lower. presuming this is factory error rather than a lot of aftermarket changes.
  • Some Gtis have “Proton” also on the front doors rub strip – this appears to be on some of the UK cars
  • Rare “LE” models also had LE badging on the rear tail gate.
  • Wheels
    • All GTis were fitted with 6-spoke 6.5J x 16 ET46 wheels. These had a stud pattern of 4 x 100.
    • Tyres fitted were originally Pirelli 205/45R16 83V P7000.
  • General
    • Green window tint
    • Rear centre-mounted “bee-sting” antenna.
2. Interior features - Proton Satria GTi
  • All cars were fitted with Recaro front seats, and the rear seats were trimmed to match. The vast majority of GTis had black bolsters with grey/silver trim applied to the middle of the squab and back. The seats had “Recaro” embroidered in the centre back rest.
  • The rare “LE” model had the Recaro seats trimmed in dark grey / black leather, and the rear seats trimmed to match. Theis model also had a leather door card insert panel with “GTI” embroidered in white.
  • The dashboard fascia was a silver finish.
  • Later cars had leather steering wheel- and I think airbag
  • Blue text and white background instruments
  • In 1999 - It was equipped with air-conditioning, ABS, dual front power windows (prone to break), electric mirrors and Recaro seats
  • Airbag was introduced later. Unclear when.
  • Later cars got nice carpet with gti logo. door panel, steering, pedal also got gti logo + revised gear knob.
  • Need to add in the specs for
  • T the LE model – see Australian article – just 20 cars came,  had full black leather Recaro seat trim.  
  • cut-pile floor carpet and carpet mats with GTi logo
  • Stainless steel door sill scuff plate garnish
  • high-quality audio system with CD-player and six speakers
  • aluminium racing-type foot pedals
  • Leather gear shift boot
  • Centre console with carbon check finish
  • Aluminium gear shift knob
  • 4 spoke steering wheel with driver airbag
  • titanium dial facia meter cluster
3. Mechanical features & specs - Proton Satria GTi

In this section of the guide we detail the mechanical specifications for the Satria GTI. This section includes details of the change to the engine Electronic Control Unit (ECU), which in early cars was a Mitsubishi (MMC ECU), and in later cars was a Seimens ECU. Please note, power specs may differ to those quoted below as a result of the ECU changes. If yuo have further information / clarity on the power specs, please do get in touch.

Engine and performance specs:

  • Inline 4-cylinder 1.8l (1834cc) DOHC 16-valve non turbo
  • Compression ratio: 10.5:1
  • Nore / Stroke: 81mm x 89mm
  • Power:
    • 103kw @ 6,000 RPM & 164Nm Torque at 5,500 RPM (non-emission controlled).
    • 99kw @ 6,500 RPM & 162Nm torque  at 5,500 RPM (Emission controlled markets including UK).
  • 0-100 km/hr: 7.8 seconds (early MMC ECU cars); 8 - 9 seconds: Later Seimens VDO ECU cars).
  • Top speed: 210km/hr (MMC ECU); 190hm/rh (Seimens VDO ECU).
  • Fuel economy: 6.6l/100km.
  • Fuel tank capacity: 50 litres.
  • Gearbox ratios:
    • 1st: 3.083:1
    • 2nd: 1.947:1
    • 3rd: 1.285:1
    • 4th: 0.939:1
    • 5th: 0.756:1
    • Reverse: 3.083:1
    • Final drive: 4.322:1

Handling:

  • All independent suspension. McPherson strut setup in front and multilink in the rear. Coil springs, dampers and stabiliser bars applied front and rear.
  • Increased body trigidity due to use of foam filler in strategic areas.
  • 14-inch servo powert assisted disc brakes on all wheels, ventilated at the front.
  • ABS brakes.
  • 16 inch alloy wheels (6.5J x 16) with 45 series Michelin radial tyres - 204/45R16.

Dimensions:

  • Height: 1,365mm.
  • Width: 1,710mm (including wheel arches).
  • Length: 3,995mm.
  • Wheel base: 2,440mm.
  • Turning circle: 5.6 metres.

Mitsubishi Motor Co ECU (MMC ECU) vs Siemens VDO ECU

One of the most confuusing topics we discovered when researching the GTi is the ECU. There appears to be a big preference for the earlier MMC ECU cars, which have more power, higher top speed, amd are supposedly more tuneable.

4. VIN / chassis number and engine number - Proton Satria GTi

Coming soon

6. References - Proton Satria GTi

Coming soon