As is already known, two Geely/Volvo-developed powertrains will be available for the Proton X50, both 1.5 litre three-cylinder turbocharged units. The first is a 1.5 TD direct-injection version (designated 1.5L TGDi on the SUV) that will equip the Flagship variant, with 177 PS at 5,500 rpm and 255 Nm from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm for output numbers.

The second is a port-injection derivative known as the 1.5T PFI (or 1.5L T in the X50), which offers 150 PS (or 147 hp) at 5,500 rpm and 226 Nm from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm. This will power the three other X50 variants, namely the Standard, Executive and Premium.

At today’s drive preview of the car, we asked the automaker the reasoning behind the need for two similar 1.5 litre displacement engines. As it turns out, the PFI unit is being introduced on the X50 since it has been earmarked for widespread application across the automaker’s future product range.

“The move is part and parcel of the big picture in terms of the company’s powertrain strategy. The 1.5 T is basically a derivative of the 1.5 TGDi, and has been developed to accommodate our future programmes. This is the first introduction, and it will feature in future models that the company will produce in Malaysia,” said Hazrin Fazail Haroon, director of group engineering at Proton.

As it goes along, there should be no shortage of recipients for the engine to be paired with. For one, the automaker has stated its plans to introduce two models that will be fully developed by homegrown talents in the course of the next three to five years, and while their identities remain unknown, one of these could be the next Persona.

The current second-gen, introduced in 2016 and facelifted last year, should be due for replacement within that timeframe, and would be a potential model in which the 1.5 T PFI could feature.

GALLERY: Proton X50 drive preview, Sepang International Circuit