Proton S70 sedan production has started – 1.5L Turbo, DCT; C-segment confirmed; bookings now open

The Proton S70 is coming! The carmaker has announced that the first unit of the new sedan has rolled off the production line at its Tanjong Malim plant. If you want one, you can place your booking from today (November 1, 2023) with a fee of RM500.

UPDATE: Full details, live pics, walk-around video and first impressions of the S70 here

The S70 is the first all-new sedan to be introduced by the brand since the Persona was revealed way back in August 2016 – before that was the Perdana. Ahead of its official launch this year, the S70 will go on tour with customer previews set to take place in major Malaysian state capitals from November 11, 2023.

Like the X50 and X70, the S70 is based on an existing Geely model. In this case, it’s the latest, fourth-generation (S11) Emgrand that was launched in China in August 2021. As such, the S70 uses the same B-segment Modular Architecture (BMA) with a rear torsion beam, but don’t let that lead you to believe that it is a B-segment model – the X50, a B-segment SUV, rides on the same BMA platform.

In reality, the S70 is more of a C-segment sedan, which is why it gets the ‘70’ suffix to match the X70 that is a C-segment SUV. Of course, these “segment” references are not really set in stone, and are usually used merely as market (or more precisely, pricing) benchmarks, as we’ve said previously.

Proton S70 sedan production has started – 1.5L Turbo, DCT; C-segment confirmed; bookings now open

In terms of dimensions, here are the key figures of the S70 (referencing the Emgrand):

  • Length: 4,638 mm
  • Width: 1,822 mm
  • Height: 1,460 mm
  • Wheelbase: 2,650 mm

And here’s how it compares to its sedan stablemate, the Persona, as well as other popular B- and C-segment models from Honda and Toyota:

Proton S70 sedan production has started – 1.5L Turbo, DCT; C-segment confirmed; bookings now open

No teasing about with the design, with Proton providing a good number of images of the S70 in all its glory. Unsurprisingly, the general shape is identical to the Emgrand, but there are Proton-specific touches like rear model script and the new grille that features an insert decorated with chrome pins like on the X90. The pictured car also has LED projector headlamps, LED taillights with a light bar, a sunroof and wears 17-inch 10-spoke wheels wrapped with Goodyear Assurance TripleMax 2 tyres.

Proton S70 sedan production has started – 1.5L Turbo, DCT; C-segment confirmed; bookings now open

Inside, it’s again not unlike the Emgrand, as there’s a wide touchscreen infotainment system on the dashboard that sits above the central air vents and climate controls (the status of the air-conditioning system is shown on the big screen).

While it may appear to be carbon copy at first glance, there are some observed differences. For starters, the steering wheel is of a different design (looks like the one in the X50) – compared to the Emgrand, and the same also applies to the shorter gear lever (looks like the one in the X90). This is possibly due to the powertrain used for the S70, which needs an explanation.

The Emgrand, which is currently sold in the Philippines, is powered by a 1.5 litre naturally-aspirated inline-four petrol engine that serves up 102 PS and 142 Nm of torque. This is less than the version sold in China that packs 114 PS and 147 Nm.

Given the Persona makes nearly the same outputs (109 PS/150 Nm), such an engine wouldn’t be a good fit for the S70 that is meant to be positioned higher in the line-up. As such, the S70 gets a setup that is more befitting its status.

Proton isn’t providing full details just yet, with its release merely stating the sedan will come with a 1.5 litre turbocharged engine with a dual-clutch transmission. It doesn’t take much to put two and two together, so we can expect the S70 to get the same 1.5 litre turbocharged inline-three petrol unit as the X70, which serves up 177 PS and 255 Nm, and is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch.

That’s a big deal because the Emgrand doesn’t get such a setup in the markets it is sold in, so we’re rather unique in that sense. As for further details like pricing and available variants, we’ll have to wait until launch day for that.

Given the early details we’ve gotten so far, will you be rushing off to place an order for the S70? Let us know what equipment you expect the C-segment sedan to come with and share your thoughts in the comments below.

GALLERY: Proton S70 in other colours

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