The launch of the much-awaited Proton X50 is imminent, with PROTON officially teasing its second SUV (sport utility vehicle) on its social channels. The B-segment SUV, based on the Geely Binyue, rides on the success of the premium Proton X70 that continues to sell well in the market.
Rumoured to be priced below MYR90,000, the Proton X50 will compete head-on with the likes of the Honda HR-V, just-launched Kia Seltos, Mazda CX-3, and Toyota C-HR, which come at an MYR25,000-MYR30,000 price premium.
What to expect
For starters, in terms of exterior design and styling, the X50 inherits its handsome looks from its Chinese sibling. That’s not to say the local talents did not have a hand imparting some Malaysian flair. The front valance is striking and sleek, featuring PROTON’s new logo, juxtaposed against the infinite weave patterned grille. In my opinion, it’s much better looking than the Binyue.
Its side profile is similar, and PROTON has even retained the dual-tone multi-spoke alloy wheel design of the Binyue.
Overall, it has sleek, modern lines and certainly looks more contemporary than the X70.
Like the X70, it features a panoramic sunroof (on the range-topping premium model) and will be offered in a similar colour palette including Jet Grey, White, Silver, Blue, Red, and Orange.
Locally-assembled at PROTON’s Tanjung Malim factory, the X50 will be powered by the 1.5-litre three-cylinder direct turbo (TGDi) that pushes 177bhp @ 5,500rpm and 255Nm of torque @ 1,500-4,000rpm. This is mated to a seven-speed dual clutch (DCT) transmission (same as the Proton X70).
No official PROTON numbers at this point but based on the Binyue (or Coolray in the Philippines), the combo is good for the century sprint in 8.6s, which isn’t too shabby for an SUV. Coincidently, that’s the same official 0-100km/h numbers of the M24 Satria R3. Don’t ask me how I know this.
We may see improved numbers if PROTON engineers, as they have on the CKD Proton X70, tweaked engine and transmission tuning on its compact SUV.
Moving into the cabin, the interior is overlaid with dark grey tones complemented by red and silver accents. It’s a good-looking cabin, if similar to the Binyue.
You’ll find a subtle D-shaped steering with the familiar roaring tiger logo, 10-inch infotainment system with the unloved GKUI and gear lever that’s lifted of the Binyue.
On the centre rest, the X50 provides two rear aircon vents and dual USB charging ports.
In terms of safety features, the X50 is said to be better than its bigger sibling, the X70. It will feature the famed 360-degree camera system, Advanced Driver Assistant (ADAS) 2.0, six SRS airbags, ABS, EBD, traction control, stability control, and more. ADAS encapsulates Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Intelligent High Beam Control (IHBC), and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). I would expect nothing less than a 5-star ASEAN NCAP safety rating, as with most of PROTON’s current fleet of vehicles.
The Proton X50 may start from MYR70,000 for the entry-level model and go all the way up to MYR90,000 for the highest-spec.
PROTON is hosting a media preview on Tuesday, 15 September 2020.
More details to follow.
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