This is the Geely Binyue PHEV, the plug-in hybrid version of the B-segment SUV that surfaced late last year in China. According to Chinese media, the Binyue PHEV is set to debut in its home market either late this month or in early June.

These images show the Binyue hooked up to a charger, with its charging port located on the front wing. Other than the extra flap and PHEV emblem on the tailgate, the Binyue PHEV looks similar to the internal combustion engine-powered car. The black floating roof and fan blade-style 18-inch wheels can also be had on the regular Binyue.

Inside, the smart-looking cockpit has been carried over unchanged, but there’s an additional rotary knob on the centre console for drivers to select pure EV or Hybrid modes. There’s also a “Save” battery button which should offer high regeneration.

Word is that the Binyue PHEV’s powertrain will combine a 1.5 litre turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor, battery pack and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. With a combined 255 hp and 415 Nm of torque, the compact SUV is good for 0-100 km/h in a brisk 6.9 seconds. The PHEV is said to have a pure electric mode range of 60 km.

Built on the BMA modular platform co-developed with Volvo, the Binyue in its regular ICE-form comes with two turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine options – a 1.5L with a DCT auto (as per the PHEV, makes 174 hp/255 Nm on its own) and a 1.0L with a six-speed manual (134 hp/205 Nm). It’s 4,330 mm long, 1,800 mm wide and 1,609 mm tall, with a 2,600 mm wheelbase – that’s around the size of a Honda HR-V.

Of course, the Binyue is being readied for our market, and test mules of what is expected to be the “Proton X50” are already roaming in Malaysia. With a PHEV version available, will we also get a “Proton X50 PHEV” in due time? This could be Proton’s first ever hybrid if it reaches our shores – what do you think?


GALLERY: Geely Binyue