Proton X50 launching soon?
KUALA LUMPUR: Rumours suggest, Proton, the Malaysian automobile manufacturer, is prepping up to launch X70 in January as a CKD model. But, what is news, Proton X50 has been spotted road testing for the second time. For the first time, it was spotted on the East Coast Expressway (LPT) and now on the MRR2 highway. However, reportedly, the launch will take time, as X70 is the first in the queue.
Based on Geely Binyue, Proton X50 is the brand’s second SUV model as the outcome of the Proton-Geely partnership. Compared to the Proton X70 (based on Geely Boyue), Binyue’s Level 2 active assistance system is more advanced. The system also includes an active lane keep assist, which is comparatively powerful than the X70’s lane departure warning system. The spy shots reveal the X50’s uncovered front radar panel, which depicts its active driver assistance system being tested.
The spy shots also reveal its quad exhaust pipes and diffuser design at the rear end and based on that, it could be concluded that it might come with a turbocharged three-cylinder 1.5-litre unit. Moreover, according to the images, the car rides on dual-tone alloy wheels.
On the other hand, Geely Binyue, which launched in China back in August 2018, comes with two powertrain options. The first is a turbocharged 1.5-litre engine mated to a dual-clutch seven-speed automatic transmission, and another is a 1.0-litre three-cylinder direct-injection petrol mill paired with a six-speed manual gearbox.
Binyue is based on Geely’s BMA (B-segment Modular Architecture) platform, which is developed with Volvo. The platform is flexible and scalable to incorporate various applications. Binyue measures 4,330 mm in length, 1,800 mm in width, 1,609 mm in height, and the wheelbase is 2,600 mm.
Now, the question is, will it be a locally-assembled model?
Currently, the first-ever SUV model from the Proton and Geely partnership, X70 is a fully-imported CBU model, and the carmaker is all set to launch a CKD model in January. In 2018, the carmaker declared an investment of RM1.2 billion to enhance its Tanjung Malim facility for the locally-assembled X70. But at that time, it was not revealed what other cars Proton has planned to launch in the future. Now, considering the ongoing work in X50, it could be said the investment plan also includes the X50 as a CKD model.