Although it purchased the Lotus brand in 1996, the Proton name still isn't easily recognizable in many markets where Lotus is legendary. But in the markets where it is known, it has won a bit of a cult following with the previous Satria hot hatch, the GTi. Taking a page from subsidiary Lotus's design book, the newest member of Proton's stable focuses on lightweight performance. Although details are sparing, the new R3 Satria looks like it could be a new cult favorite.

Proton's R3 brand stands for Race, Rally, Research and the vehicles that inhabit it wear higher-performance suspensions, drivetrains and appearances than their more pedestrian namesakes. The basis for the R3 Satria, Proton's Satria hatch sports a motor designed in-house with the help of Lotus. The same Campro 1.6L engine powers the R3, although the state of tune has not yet been released - but it will be 'high performance' according to the maker. Other tweaks from the stock Satria include body enhancements, like the rear spoiler and front air dam. A tuned suspension gives the R3 Satria better handling.

Tagged as the spiritual successor to the Satria GTi - the first fruit of the Proton-Lotus union - the new hot hatch is expected to impress while on show at Melbourne, but the maker thinks it's on the tarmac where the car will really show its worth. The Satria GTi was based on the last-generation Satria hatch, and since the new model's debut in 2006, the line has been left without a 'hot' variant