It was previously reported that Zhejiang Geely would use Proton’s Tanjung Malim plant as a base to build right-hand drive versions of the Lynk & Co 01 SUV, and there’s more evidence to support the matter.

Recently, a reader spotted a left-hand drive 01 being driven on Malaysian roads, with only a few parts of the SUV covered up. The unit most certainly belongs to Proton, as the number plate ‘B4158A’ has also been used on X70 test mules in the past.

So, just what is a 01 doing in our country? Our guess is the unit is being used to develop a RHD conversion, which will then allow Lynk & Co to penetrate RHD markets within and outside the ASEAN region.

Proton has already announced that its Tanjung Malim facility will be transformed into an R&D and production hub for right-hand drive models within the Geely Group. The upgrading works comes with an investment of RM1.2 billion, and production is set to kick off in September 2019.

Currently, production of the 01 has already begun in China, a LHD market, and will reportedly be expanded to Volvo’s plant in Ghent, Belgium and South Carolina, USA – the former is said to cater to RHD countries in Europe.

Keep in mind that this 01 unit is not an early test mule for an upcoming Proton compact SUV (the fabled X50), which is more closely linked to the Geely Binyue/SX11. This is because the 01 rides on the larger Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform instead of the Binyue’s B-segment Modular Architecture (BMA).

Also, the vehicle is likely not being used as a test bed for a 1.5 litre turbocharged three-cylinder/seven-speed dual-clutch automatic powertrain, as there are already X70 mules seen with the new electronic gear lever that accompanies the transmission.

As a brief recap, the 01 was designed and engineered in Sweden, and is available with turbocharged 1.5 or 2.0 litre engines – transmission options include a six-speed manual, seven-speed DCT, and eight-speed automatic.

Dimension-wise, the 01 measures 4,512 mm long, 1,857 mm wide, 1,673 mm tall, with a 2,734 mm wheelbase. By comparison, the X70 is 4,519 mm long, 1,831 mm wide, 1,694 mm tall, with a 2,670 mm wheelbase. The difference is mainly due to the platform used, as the X70 (like the Boyue), rides on Geely’s NL architecture, while the 01 gets the CMA.

GALLERY: Lynk & Co 01