" Proton X70 "
" Proton X70 " got Pakistani Visa.
2020 might be one of the most interesting year as far as the automobile sector. We will see new product from Toyota in shape of Yaris sedan. We might see a camouflaged 12th generation Corolla by the end of this year. We will see a Pakistan assembled Hyundai Tucson for sale in June/ July while a Pakistan assembled Hyundai Elantra will be for sale in September . If Honda Atlas have some sense , they should be working seriously on the newer generation of City but less chances for it to show-up in 2020. As of Suzuki, there is no new model planned but slim chances are a CBU Hybrid Swift will arrive initially and locally assembled Swift next year.
So, what else is left? The Proton. In recent months we have seen a small SUV in zebra suit at multiple locations. The camouflaged model is the Proton X70.
Proton is a national car company of Malaysia. In the past it has been producing re-badged Suzuki and even Honda models and before than some Mitsubishi models were sold with Proton badge. In fact Proton started their production with first car almost 36 years ago and it was based on Mitsubishi Lancer. Proton Holding company at one time was owner of the Lotus cars.
Currently Geely car company from China, who also own Sweden's Volvo has 49% shares in Proton. Proton has signed a joint venture with Al-Haj group for establishing an assembly line in Karachi for the CKD production of cars. The first official release for sale will be a CBU/ X70; a small SUV and it will be sold as an imported unit. the compact sedan Saga will be first locally produced vehicle which is little away this time. We will talk about X70 in this post,
X70 has been seen under test in Pakistan and PM of Pakistan also received it as gift from Malaysian government. X70 is small SUV/ crossover vehicle and basically a re-badged Geely Vehicle named " Geely Boyue ". It is known as some other names depending on the markets, It was introduced in China back in 2016. It got a face-lift in China and interior and exterior makeover in the process. The Proton X70 is basically the same Geely product, some minor exterior changes and a right hand drive instead of Left as in China. It was introduced in Malaysia in early 2019 and imported from China. Proton have started local assembly in Malaysia recently for local supply.
Pakistan will be receiving Proton X70 from Malaysia as CBU/ fully assembled vehicle ready to sale as an import. X70 will compete KIA Sportage as well as the upcoming Sportage's non identical twin , Hyundai Tucson.
X70 is based on Geely NL Modular platform which is flexible architecture and can be used by multiple models depending on use. X70 is 4519mm long, 1831 mm wide and 1694 mm high. Wheel base of 2670 mm while ground clearance is not confirmed but seems around 180 mm. For understating the size I will share Sportage dimensions which 4484 mm long , 1855 wide and 1635 mm high while ground clearance is 172mm. So, basically X70 is slightly bigger on outer dimensions comparing Sportage. X70 has a 60 liter fuel tank while Sportage has capacity for 2 extra liters.
𝗘𝗡𝗚𝗜𝗡𝗘 & 𝗧𝗥𝗔𝗡𝗦𝗠𝗜𝗦𝗦𝗜𝗢𝗡:
X70 is available with a 1.8L Turbo Petrol direct injection engine in Malaysia which is around 184hp. Max torque of 300Nm. It comes with a 7 speed DCT . Both transmissions & engine are Geelys / Volvo developed engines.
When it comes to Pakistan there is a surprising news. It is not yet officially confirmed BUT the X70 for sale in Pakistan will have a 1.5L Turbo 3 cylinder engine. There will be 7 speed DCT which is also a Volvo and Geely jointly developed unit. The Volvo+ Geely developed engine will have 174 to 177hp & 265NM of torque. As you can see that comparing the 1.8T which is 300cc more in displacement only makes slightly more power. This would mean that the smaller 1.5T have higher compression ratio to develop almost same level of horse powers.
This engine is Euro 6 compliant and one of the industry best engines. We can understand this from the fact that Volvo which is premium brand use the same engine in its one of the model in Europe. This 1.5T has been developed to work in Hybrid environment as well. So, the same engine can work in conjunction with electric motors for a more efficient hybrid or plug in Hybrid versions. Although any such application is not under use.
Proton is not offering the 1.5T for X70 in Malaysian market. It is basically directed for export regions. Malaysian Auto production data confirms that Proton has produced 30 units of X70 fitted with a 1.5L turbocharged 3 cylinder engine, with AWD as of December 2019. And I believe that the X70 roaming around on Pakistani roads are actually some of those units. Proton is planning a X50, another compact SUV smaller than X70 which is also a Geely vehicle. X50 will be using 1.5T for Malaysian market. Globally, the downsizing is name of the game. BMW, Mercedes and many other brands are making smaller and efficient engines with higher performance levels. When things come to Pakistan things get complicated.
Why we are getting the 1.5T on X70 ? it is simple. Proton will import these vehicles and with 1.5T [ actual displacement slightly less than 1500cc ] . There is difference in duty structure for under 1500cc engines and to remain price competitive to Sportage and Tucson. BUT it comes with its own issues. Turbocharged vehicles are very sensitive to quality of fuel and unfortunately Pakistan has one of the worst quality fuel and can pose problems to the performance of engine.
Proton is currently extensively testing the 1.5T in Pakistan and road testing is ongoing and vehicles were test driven from Karachi to the extreme North regions. Driving data has been collected and Protons own engineers are involved. Obviously the engine will be tuned for local fuel conditions and some changes are planned to the exhaust system as well. There is possibility BUT not confirmed Proton require "Premium fuel" although this is 99% confirmed at this time that Pakistan bound X70 will get a 1.5T.
𝗗𝗥𝗜𝗩𝗘𝗧𝗥𝗔𝗜𝗡 & 𝗢𝗧𝗛𝗘𝗥 𝗖𝗢𝗠𝗣𝗢𝗡𝗘𝗡𝗧𝗦:
Disc brakes all around with ABS. McPherson front while a Multi-link rear suspension. Electric power steering, E-brake will be standard. Standard alloy wheels and depending on variant, the wheel size will be 225/65/17 or 225/60/18 or 225/55/19. I am sure Proton will select the right size for local road conditions. The test vehicles seen in Pakistan had a premium model which did show the 19" wheels so, we have a possibility. The X70 will be an AWD model for Pakistan. It looks like AWD will be standard but there is a possibility of FWD variant. It is interesting to note that Proton is not offering any AWD variant in Malaysian market because of low demand. There will be an Eco and Sport mode.
As XC70 will be a CBU so, it will carry most of the features and options available in Malaysian vehicle. As the CBU will be specifically made for Pakistan, there is due chance for difference in features but at launch expect it be identical to the overseas model. Fabric on entry level while leather will also be available and even the Nappa leather on premium model. The panoramic sunroof will be available on the top of the line variant.
Digital LCD dashboard cluster will be standard on all trims. Steering wheels control, push button start and welcome lights , power folding mirrors, day-night rear view mirror are also available. Power windows , power driver adjustable seats which are ventilated too. Dual zone climate control with rear vents are also standard on all trims which also have air purification system.
8" standard LCD touchscreen infotainment system which has cell phone connectivity for music streaming. The infotainment system is GKUI [ Geely Smart Ecosystem infotainment system ] which is a smart voice recognition system and you can order the vehicle to perform certain functions. Like even changing the climate control settings. It will be a 4G WIFI capable system with GSM SIM slot and certain online features can be integrated into the car. Proton link app can be used to remote control certain feature of the car. There will be 6 speakers standard but premium models will have 8 with amplifier and sub-woofer.
This is a 5 seat vehicle as standard and no option for 2 extra seats to make it 7. Although the second row seats can be folded down for larger cargo capacity. Power tailgate will be available on all expect base model and with foot sensor on the premium model.
Base model has halogen headlights with DRL while the upper trims will get LED and those will be adaptive headlights with auto dip and high feature. LED taillights. The car is a based on the Geely Boyue but to give it a Proton face, there is different grill on front which is called " infinite weave grille" . This is basically inspired by the traditional wood work and carving which is famous in Malaysia. LED taillights and two exhuast tips through rear bumper. Obviously a standard wiper for rear screen and a spoiler with a stop lamp. Roof rails will be standard.
When it comes to safety, this is where X70 will be the champion . 6 airbags standard on all trims. ABS, Auto brake hold, Brake Assist, Hill assist , EBD, Traction control will be standard. TPMS / Tire Pressure Monitoring System will also be available.
The premium model will also be equipped with "ADAS" which is Advanced Driver Assistance System and a set of active safety features. This will be first of its kind offered by a a company on a brand new vehicle in this category. It will consist of lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring , auto high beam and autonomous braking. The base model will have a regular reverse camera but the premium model will have 360 view camera system. The Proton X70 is a Asian NCAP tested vehicle with 5 start rating.
We can say that X70 will be much safer vehicle in a test comparing the locally assembled Sportage. We shall see what Tucson offer but it looks like it will follows same level of safety features as Sportage.
The 1.5T engine is the first indicator that Proton want's to be price competitive. X70 will come with features which the competitor lacks in the segment. I personally think that X70 will be priced in base form around 4.6 Million while the premium model can be near +/- 5.6 Million.
Comparing the Sportage AWD which is top of the line model from KIA , the premium X70 might be little more expensive but it will comes with some exclusive features. Yes Sportage has word wide recognition and it is sold in many markets when compared with X70. But keep in mind that X70 is Geely's vehicle with a Proton badge. It has an engine , transmission which is co-developed with Volvo and is currently in use by Volvo as well. X70 has broke all the sales records in Malaysian market and proton has hard time completing orders.
I think it will be a very good addition to the market and can give tough time to Sportage and upcoming Tucson. The pricing of Tucson will also make an impact on X70 pricing and Tucson will be revealed in July, Proton will then finalize at what price point they will launch the vehicle, which is a good move.
The vehicle is currently under testing by Proton engineers for local optimization of fuel and weather conditions. Which includes the extensive testing planned for this upcoming summer. Expect it to arrive at dealers sometime later this year. X70 will remain a CBU and Proton will check the market response. It might become a local assembled vehicle BUT that is not happening anytime soon. There is a chance Proton start assembly of X70 in Karachi in June 2021.
Anyone thinking about buying Sportage or Tucson MUST wait if possible and check the X70 later this year before making a final decision.
Stay Tuned ! for more updates on X70.
Exclusive Discussion Thread > https://www.pakwheels.com/forums/t/proton-x70-the-new-upcoming-suv-exclusive-discussion-thread/1376600
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