There is no denying that forced induction is the way to go if you want a big leap in power from your motor. In the long run, spending all that money on the engine for a turbo kit will probably save you more in the future if you decide to upgrade piece by piece through the naturally aspirated path in terms of power as well as effort.
Speedworks have been churning out turbocharger kits for cars for quite some time now and this time around we got to sample their Proton Satria Neo with a turbo kit under the hood. Many tuners have already been getting their hands greasy with turbo kits for the Satria Neo well before Proton themselves decided to drop a snail in there right from the factory. Does this give the aftermarket an upper hand over the manufacturers? Let’s find out.
Readers might remember us featuring a turbocharged Neo from Speedworks in an earlier issue but that one was bogged down by an automatic transmission whereas this one came with a manual, allowing us to truly give it the full beans and see how it goes.
This car also represents a fine example of bolting together a turbo kit for a naturally aspirated engine and it could give you plenty of ideas if you’re seriously considering this route. Furthermore, you can also read through our Techtune section that delves into the fine points of getting a turbo kit for your car, especially a one-off kit. The plus point in getting a kit rather than going the Frankenstein route is that the kit has already been tested and will bolt in without much hassle, unlike the addition sweat and money needed to make a Frankenstein setup work.
With Speedworks, their kits come as complete as can be, with the options of further additions to increase power if you desire so. The kit consists of a Garrett turbocharger, intercooler with relevant piping, GReddy blow-off valve, Hot Bits extractor, larger injectors, K&N air intake and all other necessary ancillaries for a fuss-free fit.
Customers can also have the option of going with a KKK turbocharger that are known for their robustness and high horsepower ability. Nonetheless, the Garrett turbos are equally capable and come with newer features or technology.
One of the best points of getting a Speedworks turbo kit is the quality of their workmanship. I cannot stress how important it is to have good workmanship in the installation as it ensures that there are no problems cropping up in the future. Everything is neatly installed with devilish attention to minor details, such as padding the sharp edges that wires or small vacuum hoses run around to prevent them being sliced through. Furthermore, a neat install is always such a visual pleasure.
With the kit installed, the other major aspect to look at is the tuning. Speedworks have prepared two options for customers to choose from and they will advice them carefully on the pros and cons of each system. There are the options of an SS Turbo USA ECU or the more common GReddy e-Manage. As part of the additional options, customers can choose to have an additional secondary injector installed if they want to run higher boost.
Before the kit was installed, the Neo returned a base figure of 108.6hp and 150.8Nm of torque. With the kit running, power went up to a very impressive 174hp and 255.2Nm of torque at just 0.7-bars of boost. All in all, the Speedworks kit gave the Neo an extra 65.4hp and 104.4Nm of torque, well worth the money spent on the kit.
The demo car that we drove also came with the optional Hot Bits exhaust system, giving the Neo a nice throaty growl that was not overwhelming, even with the throttle mashed to the ground. With the auto model that we sampled a while back, the car was held back by the transmission that would begin to lose breath at just over 5,500rpm.
This time around, the manual allowed us to fully explore the extra ponies. Response from the engine was good, with very minimal lag. Nonetheless, that much extra horses had to come from a relatively large turbo, hence if you were caught in the wrong gear, it would take a pinch longer before the turbo kicks in but the lag is not something to be concerned about.
The acceleration could really be felt in the first three gears. It was very brisk and definitely felt heaps quicker than a stock Neo. Pulling it in first gear resulted in some slight torque steer but nothing that was adversely dangerous. The addition of a limited slip differential would quell that niggle.
If you’re in the market for a quicker Neo and want to go down the turbo route, the Speedworks kit is definitely one to be seriously considered for its value and proven performance.
You can give them a ring at 03-7955 5533 or email them at email@example.com. Their facility is located at Lot 2, Lorong 51A/227B, 46100, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Drop by their website at www.speedworks.com.my for more information.
Garrett / KKK turbocharger
Turbo exhaust manifold with heat-shield
Aluminium alloy high-flow intercooler
Greddy e-Manage / USA (SS) Turbo ECU
High-flow fuel injectors (option of additional secondary injector)
Hot Bits full Mandrel bent turbo exhaust system
K&N air intake
Stainless steel turbo pipe
GReddy blow-off valve
Before -108.6hp@5,916 rpm
After – 174.0hp@6,146rpm
Increase – 65.4hp
Before – 150.8Nm@4,194 rpm
After – 255.2Nm@3,956rpm
Increase – 104.4Nm