With production of the locally-assembled Proton X70 well and truly underway at the national carmaker’s Tanjung Malim factory, when can we expect the model to be launched? Well, during a recent Chinese New Year luncheon with members of the media, Proton CEO Li Chunrong stated that the X70 CKD will be launched “very soon.”

However, he did not disclose an official launch date, nor was there any word on pricing. As for details about what’s new with the localised version, we are still left with what we learned during our visit to Tanjung Malim for the X70 CKD’s rollout ceremony back in December last year.

The car will be largely identical to the fully-imported (CBU) version, with changes being the new Proton roundel at the front that replaces the previous shield-shaped badge. There will apparently be more changes beneath the surface, with the 1.8 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine tuned to deliver 181 hp and 15 Nm more torque for a total of 300 Nm.

Other more significant changes include the possible use of a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, while the kit list could be improved with the addition of a powered tailgate. On the matter of the amount of local content that will be used for the X70 CKD, no percentages have been revealed for now.

In August last year, Proton reconfirmed its plan to deliver a locally-assembled version of the X70 SUV within the second half of 2019, and while customers have yet to receive the model, it looks like they will soon.

Aside from the X70, Li also stated that Proton will be launching another highly anticipated model this year in the shape of the X50, which will be its second SUV offering. Based on the Geely Binyue, the compact SUV should be a popular choice among those who find the X70 a little too large for their liking, and will likely come with a number of styling and equipment revisions that are specific for the Malaysian market. Both SUVs should be crucial in the company’s pursuit of selling 132,000 cars this year.