The Proton X50 has been sighted on Thai roads by Car Spotting Thailand, where the B-segment SUV was photographed in development car camouflage. Market-specific development has already begun, as this follows an announcement by Geely last October that the automaker has been developing a Thai translation of the “Hi Proton” voice control system, which is part of the Geely Key User Interface (GKUI).

In Malaysia, the 1.5 litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine employs port fuel injection and makes 150 PS and 226 Nm in the Standard, Executive and Premium variants, while the range-topping Flagship variant features direct injection, and outputs 177 PS and 255 Nm of torque from the same engine; similarly, this will be paired with a seven-speed, wet dual-clutch gearbox driving the front wheels.

The original translation from Mandarin to English for the “Hi Proton” system was initially through a library of words, which were then translated to Thai. This was however a flawed process, which saw a native speaker of the language brought in to advise on local cultures and customs in order to provide context and for the system to better understand commands.

Proton X50 Flagship in Malaysia

The adaptation for Thailand comes on top of the English version that was developed specifically for the Malaysian market, as Proton worked with GKUI developer ECARX and more than 200 individuals to record the “Hi Proton” phrase as well as commonly used commands, such as for opening windows and air-conditioning controls.

The Proton X50 was awarded a five-star Asean NCAP rating ahead of its official launch, which will be applicable to the Land of Smiles as well, with the crash test report confirming Proton’s export plans to the country. The automaker plans to double its export volume this year, having attained export growth of almost 50% in 2020.

In January last year, Proton CEO Li Chunrong said that the automaker was asked by Geely to expand its brand presence across the Southeast Asian region, with initial focus upon markets such as Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei.

In Malaysia, the Proton X50 is priced from RM79,200 for the Standard base model, through RM84,800 for the Executive, RM93,200 for the Premium and RM103,300 for the top-of-the-range Flagship.

GALLERY: Proton X50