Social media and automotive news reports are all abuzz with the media invitation from Proton regarding the all-new Proton compact crossover ‘preview’.
Yes, it is only a simple media preview – no test drive involved – and not even an official launch with prices shared.
Tagged as the Proton X50, this is a Geely China product that has already enjoyed sales success in some left-hand drive markets like Russia and Philippines.
China is a left-hand drive market so little changes need to be made for export to these countries.
For Malaysia, the right-hand drive version needed a lot of engineering changes and also a comprehensive road test to maintain the drive dynamics that this crossover promises.
This Geely crossover made its global debut in Moscow on Aug 29, 2018 as the Geely Bin Yue and then on Sept 25 it was launched in the Philippines as the Geely Coolray by Japanese-based conglomerate Sojitz Corporation as their exclusive distributor in the Philippines.
The Proton X50 will come equipped with Geely’s 1.5-litre turbo three-cylinder engine that is co-developed with sister brand Volvo. Yes, Geely owns Volvo Cars Sweden.
It will probably produce a sensible 177hp and an impressive 255Nm of torque from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm and will be driven via a seven-speed ‘wet’ dual clutch gearbox developed in Geely’s China Euro Vehicle Technology Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden which boasts an industry leading 97% transmission efficiency.
This crossover will be able to accelerate from 0-100km/h in about 7.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 195km/h.
This Proton X50 will have a body size of 4,330 mm x 1,800 mm x 1,609 mm and a wheelbase of 2,600 mm.
The interior of the Bin Yue has already been a much talked about topic among possible buyers.
This Proton crossover will adopt the multi-layer instrument panel design and also leather and brushed metal processing that Geely’s version has, adding a lot of visual texture.
The centre console will also use the floating large-size centre control touch screen that is equipped with Geely’s proud intelligent voice-activated infotainment system.
At the same time, this new crossover will carry a full LCD instrument panel and a flat-bottom three spoke multifunction steering wheel like with the Geely Coolray.
The new Proton crossover is also known in China as the Geely SX 11 and is built on the BMA platform, which stands for B-segment Modular Architecture.
It has a maximum ground clearance of 180 mm. Its entry angle is 18% and its departure angle is 26%, making it good enough for visiting durian farms and Orang Asli villages.
This architecture was created in collaboration with Volvo engineers. It has a front transverse arrangement of the power unit and 70% of high-strength alloys in its composition.
The suspension has a lighter structure. In the front, there are McPherson struts with an anti-roll bar, and a semi-dependent torsion bar at the rear. The trunk space of the crossover is quite good.
In its standard position when loaded under the top shelf, it is capable of delivering up to 450 litres.
More information and images of the Malaysian showroom model will be shared right after the media preview today.