Proton is gearing up for its first big launch of the year, the locally-assembled 2020 X70. Ahead of its impending unveiling, the national carmaker has confirmed that the CKD SUV will swap out its six-speed automatic gearbox for a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, developed by Geely and Volvo.

The wet clutch unit is already found in the Volvo XC40 and the latest range of Lynk & Co and Geely models, where it is mated to the (also co-developed) 1.5 litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine. In the X70, however, the 1.8 litre direct-injected turbo four-pot will soldier on, although it is technically of a new iteration referred to internally as Generation 3 (the one in the CBU import is the Generation 2 mill).

Apparently, there are no major mechanical changes, but the addition of two clutches has freed up an extra 15 Nm of torque, bumping the total figure up to 300 Nm from 1,750 to 4,000 rpm; power remains identical at 181 hp at 5,500 rpm. The engine also features revised emissions equipment that allows it to meet new Euro 6d regulations if required, although of course it can still run on our Euro 4M petrol.

The new gearbox has also provided marginal gains in fuel efficiency, with the quoted combined figure going down from 7.8 litres per 100 km to 7.5 for a front-wheel drive model. Given that the CBU model was only capable of 9.8 litres per 100 km in our Driven Web Series, expect a similar discrepancy between the given number and what you can achieve in the real world.

Beyond the new gearbox, Proton has not revealed any other changes forthcoming for the X70, but we do know that the car will come with the new roundel badge up front. There will also be a smaller electronic gearlever to go with the DCT, similar to what you’d find on modern BMWs (and indeed, Volvos).

We can also expect a few additions to the equipment list such as a powered tailgate, and possibly even some chassis tweaks. Production units of the 2020 X70 are rolling out of Tanjung Malim as we speak, so the launch will happen sooner rather than later. We had a brief test drive of a Geely Boyue Pro in China with the same engine and gearbox combination, and you will be able to read about it shortly.