PETALING JAYA: Hot on the heels of Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely’s acquisition of a 49.9% stake in Proton, Malaysians have been given a glimpse of the national car maker’s future plans: the development of its first ever SUV.
According to a report on automotive website Paultan.org, the SUV will be based on Geely’s best-selling model, the Boyue, which was developed by former Volvo designer Peter Horbury.
Details remain sketchy on the extent to which Horbury’s design will influence the Proton SUV. However, the report said the Boyue itself features a range of engines, including a 2.4-litre naturally-aspirated unit and a 1.8-litre turbo.
Depending on the choice of engine, drivers can opt for a six-speed manual transmission or a dual-clutch automatic transmission.
At 4.5m long, the Boyue also offers high-tech equipment such as Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility and adaptive cruise control (ACC). The ACC allows the vehicle to match its highway cruise speed to the speed of the car in front of it, the report added.
Earlier today, it was reported that DRB-Hicom would sell a 49.9% stake in Proton to Geely, which also owns Sweden’s Volvo Car Group.
This was a U-turn on Geely’s earlier decision not to partner with Proton, citing the car maker’s “indecisiveness”.
Other potential suitors had included Volkswagen, Suzuki and Renault. However, all of these eventually fell through.