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Proton Satria Neo S2000 Rally car being tested at French Alps
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MEM was originally formed in 1982 as an outlet for its owner, Chris Mellors, to compete in British Champion Rallying but soon developed into a successful preparation company winning events and more than 10 championships all over the world since it was formed in 1983. Highlights include MEM winning the British Championship twice, the FIA Production World Championship with the Proton Wira in 2002, the US Pro-Rally Championship in 2003 for Mitsubishi USA and the 2004 FIA Asia-Pacific Championship, again for Proton. Building on this successful partnership between MEM and Proton in Malaysia, MEM was authorised to transform the road going version of Protons Satria Neo model and produce a ground-breaking conversion of the Satria into the full specification Super 2000 car that you see today.
Designed by Mellors Elliott Motorsport, (MEM), the new Proton Satria Neo Super 2000 rally car has just raised the performance bar for the rapidly expanding FIA Super 2000 rally series.
The concept was developed by using a combination of innovative engineering designs, the 25 years of experience of the teams technical staff but, crucially, also the input from the teams owner and extremely successful driver, Chris Mellors. The result is an astonishingly small and agile car which from the very outset was designed for the driver.
With an attractive and aerodynamic package for the front bumper, wings, rear bumper and rear spoiler complimenting the eye-catching Satria design, the Proton S2000 can achieve in full rally trim the smallest frontal area and the lowest roof height in its class even at rally ride height settings. Driver and Co-driver seat positions are fixed at the rearmost possible mounting points to maximise the cars weight distribution but with the pedal box and steering column both adjustable to suit different pilots. The MEM rollcage design uses 35 metres of lightweight Chrome Moly tube together with strategic body strengthening resulting in vastly improved torsional bodyshell stiffness and a no-compromise safety cell for the crew. The cleverly designed side crash protection bars are uniquely shaped to aid driver and co-driver access into and out of the car.
The 2 litre Proton Super 2000 engine is derived from the 1.8 litre engine fitted to Protons Waja model and has been further developed by MEMs engineers to produce a reliable 278 bhp @ 7600rpm with a usable power band from 5,500 to 8,500rpm. Combined with the best 6-speed sequential 4WD Super 2000 transmission currently available, (the 532 version from market leaders Xtrac), the car sets new standards for engine performance and driveability.
The fuel system innovates too with a quick-change fuel control cassette, (which includes all the fuel pumps, filters and valves), attached to the MEM-designed FIA FT3 safety fuel cell to aid rapid maintenance.
Alcon provides the braking power with their latest Super 2000 alloy 4-pot calipers and ventilated discs which combined with the Neos low overall weight of 1150kg gives astoundingly short braking distances. The ventilated disc sizes are independently maximised for both Gravel, (15 rims), and Tarmac, (18 rims), but for both simplicity and cost the brake calipers are common to both setups thanks to a simple mounting arrangement.
MEMs engineers have designed the suspension with a relatively conventional layout of wishbone and MacPherson strut, which means it will be easy and relatively cheap to maintain whilst remaining super-reliable. However, the design has cleverly maximised damper travel to such an extent that the bump stops are the only part that stops the body sills hitting the ground on full bump travel! This translates into achieving both an ultra-low tarmac setup with go-kart levels of body roll and a long-travel gravel setup with enormous ability to soak up the biggest bumps. With various anti-roll bars available for both front and rear and with MEMs 25 years of rally experience, the suspension setup can be easily fine-tuned for any rally surface or type.
The latest technology is used in the electrical systems with a state-of-the-art Multiplexed wiring system capable of managing the entire cars electronics from a central unit ideally placed in the centre of the car in-between the driver and co-driver. Apart from the weight saving reduction that this achieves, it is simple to operate and, with automatically resetting circuit breakers, this is technology and reliability at its best.
The result of all this is a car which not only has well-proven technical advances and novel design but also has simplicity where appropriate to ensure the best possible combination of performance and reliability.
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