Proton X70 SUV Archive

  • Proton X70 SUV previews start with first stop in Petaling Jaya – more events in other cities until Nov 4

    Proton has begun previewing its first-ever SUV – the X70 – to the public, with the first in a series of events taking place in Petaling Jaya from September 19-23. At the preview, customers, C-level executives as well as potential corporate buyers were invited to get up close and personal with the model.

    “Since bookings were opened on September 8, the response from our customers have been overwhelming. The Proton X70 scales new heights for the company with its modern and sophisticated design so we are organising previews to allow customers to get a closer look to understand the level of engineering and feel the premium materials we have used in this SUV,” said Abdul Rashid Musa, CEO of Proton Edar.

    “It goes without saying Proton is very excited about our new model and we hope, after the preview, customers will feel the same way too,” he added.

    The X70 is based on the facelifted Geely Boyue, and will feature a 1.8 litre TGDi turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine (181 hp/285 Nm) that is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with front- and all-wheel drive available. Buyers will get to choose from four variants, and bookings can be made as of September 8 with a deposit of RM1,000.

    While considerable effort was made to convert the Boyue from left-hand drive to right-hand drive, Proton designers also had a hand at adding unique touches to “Malaysianise” the SUV. These include revamping the infotainment system’s voice recognition function and incorporating styling cues influenced by Malaysian cultures.

    “I think the car is simply amazing and impressive, from the whole design development as a Malaysian car and also a car that will represent Malaysia to the world, I think it’s really great. Great looking inside out and the features are impressive too,” said Darren Ho, general manager of Hong Leong Bank.

    “Outstanding! To be honest, I have never been a big fan of Proton but after this preview, the X70 is really an eye opener; the design, the safety and other features are really impressive,” commented Shaun Lin Jern Ming, an engineer, who estimated the SUV to be priced between RM140,000 to RM170,000, though he hopes that it would be lower.

    More preview events will take place in other cities until November 4, including in Penang, Johor Bahru, Kuching, Kuantan, Ipoh and Kota Kinabalu. “We plan to reach nearly 6,000 potential buyers through the preview sessions and while that’s a small portion of the potential buyers we are targeting, it gives those who are considering the X70 a chance to view the SUV so that they can make a decision,” said Rashid.

    “Spaces are limited so anybody who wants to attend should visit the Proton outlet closest to them and speak to the sales team there,” he added. Should you be unable to make it to any of the events, we’ve already had our preview session, and you can find out as much as you need to know about the Proton X70 here.

    GALLERY: Proton X70

    GALLERY: Proton X70 colours

  • Proton X70 – design head Azlan Othman explains the Malaysian influences in the design of the SUV

    We’ve just been given a peek at the new Proton X70, and one of the officials on hand to give a presentation on the car was none other than head of design Azlan Othman, who explained the Malaysian design cues on the national carmaker’s first ever SUV.

    Much of the exterior and interior styling has been lifted from the Geely Boyue on which it’s based – after all, the company was mainly focused on the conversion from left- to right-hand drive. But the design team did find the time to incorporate a couple of unique touches for our market.

    The most prominent is the grille, which replaces Geely’s concentric “expanding cosmos” item. The chrome surround has been changed and now features a notable dip in the centre, and Azlan said that the shape was inspired by a bow. This means that the bonnet lines flow through the grille and wrap around the shield-shaped Proton grille, he added.

    Meanwhile, the grille insert now features what Azlan calls an “infinite weave,” an interlocking pattern that is claimed to be inspired by designs found in Malaysian craftsmanship, said to be evident in products such as batik and Malaysian wood carvings. The pattern can also be found on the speaker grilles, replacing Geely’s cloud-like looping pattern.

    The “infinite weave” grille is one of the few unique design cues on the Proton X70

    Apart from the obligatory Proton badge at the front and the Proton script on the headlights, tail lights and rear number plate garnish, the rest of the design is as per the Boyue, which Azlan believes is no bad thing. He said that the existing design cues such as the muscular body surfacing and the intricate headlight design are reminiscent of the body and eyes of a tiger, which Proton has adopted as part of its identity.

    Looking at the car itself, we noticed another change, this time probably made for practicality’s sake. The Boyue is fitted with only one rear air-conditioning vent in the centre, but the X70 gets two separate vents that can be tilted individually. This has likely been done to bring the car in line with local tastes, as most buyers would have been accustomed with twin vents instead of just one.

    It’s also clear that this is a more involved “rebadging” job compared to the Ertiga, not least because of the sheer work done to convert the car to right-hand drive that goes beyond the bare minimum required. Aside from flipping the dashboard, seats and door panels, the centre console has also been rebuilt for RHD, with the electronic parking brake button shifted to the right – this is not always the case with some conversions.

    The X70 has two rear air-conditioning vents (left) compared to the Geely Boyue’s single vent

    That’s on top of the usual challenges in converting a car designed for left-hand drive markets to right-hand drive. Often, the engine and gearbox of a left-hand drive car is in the way of where the steering column would be on a right-hand drive one, so things would need to be moved around to fit. There’s a lot of effort involved, and the last thing you’d want is a bad conversion.

    Forget the aftermarket kits used on American cars, such as the CKD Ford F-150 sold by Hamawangsa Kredit, or French cars with the bonnet release and fuse box (resulting in a tiny glovebox) on the wrong side – even a company with the industrial might of Mercedes-Benz can be guilty of subpar right-hand drive conversions, with off-centre steering wheels and cramped footwells. There’s none of that in the X70.

    So what’s next for Proton? Azlan said that the company is forging on with a new design philosophy with a focus on being progressive, harmonious and spirited – words that were inspired by Malaysia. He added that Proton Design is now part of a global design family within Geely, which has studios in Gothenburg, Hangzhou Bay, UK, Barcelona and California, and it was previously reported that the Malaysian studio will participate in Geely’s global projects.

    GALLERY: Proton X70 colours

  • Proton X70 SUV – exterior paint and interior colours

    Following the official release of details on Proton’s first ever SUV, the X70, we’ve learnt that the available exterior colours will include Flame Red, Snow White, Armour Silver, Jet Grey and the colour you see above, Cinnamon Brown.

    For the interior, we’ve rendered a version of the interior image to see what it will look like with black leather upholstery, which is what you’ll get in the Executive models. The range-topping Premium variant will receive brown Nappa leather upholstery, while the base Standard will be an all fabric affair.

    To recap, the X70 got its name as a result of a poll joined by nearly 90,000 participants, and ‘X70’ was found to be the most popular choice, garnering 60% of all votes. Three variants will be on offer, and all will be powered by a 1.8 litre TGDi turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine producing 181 hp and 285 Nm of torque, paired to a six-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive.

    Inside, the Proton X70 draws heavily from the Geely Boyue facelift upon which it is based, where equipment will include automatic dual-zone climate control, a widescreen 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment unit with 4g connectivity, with automatic wipers and headlights.

    On the safety front, a 360-degree view camera setup shows a three-dimensional view of obstacles around the X70, while a forward-facing camera aids the driver assist systems such as autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control.

    Proton so far has 77 test vehicles in its fleet for the development of the X70 SUV, with 300 vehicle tests, 500 vehicle systems tests and 750,000 man-hours of development conducted so far for the new, forthcoming model. Pricing for the X70 has yet to be revealed, so prospective buyers will be in anticipation. Which of these are your favourite colours?

  • 2018 Proton X70 – why and how it was named as such

    Now that Proton’s first-ever SUV has finally received its name, the question on the minds of most Malaysians is why the model is being called the X70.

    As you may know, the national carmaker previously organised an online poll inviting the public to vote for the name of the Geely Boyue-based model. At the time, four choices were available – X7, PX7, X70 or X700.

    During this morning’s media preview of the X70, it was revealed that almost 90,000 people took part in the poll, of which 60% voted for X70. The fact that the name won by a majority isn’t just a demonstration of democracy in action either.

    Proton says X70 was selected as it would be more acceptable in ASEAN as well as other international markets without having to adjust for naming conventions in other markets. As the SUV will be exported outside of Malaysia, the need for a standardised nameplate would make things easier from a coding perspective as well.

    Breaking down the name, Proton explains that the letter ‘X’ serves to denote vehicles in the crossover or SUV segment. Meanwhile, the number ‘70’ refers to the size/class of the SUV, and provides Proton with naming system that allows bigger or small models to be added in the future. Think Volvo’s XC line-up that ranges from the compact XC40 to the XC60 and on to the XC90.

    To add, Proton CEO Li Chunrong mentioned during the preview that the name was also chosen to emphasis the automaker’s name rather than the model on its own.

    The X70 is the first Proton model to use an alphanumeric naming system but it won’t be the only one, as future models being introduced will follow the same system as well. Whether this will spell the end of iconic nameplates such as the Saga, Perdana, Persona, etc. remain to be seen.

    GALLERY: Proton X70 colours

  • Malaysia to be global production hub for right-hand drive Geely Boyue for exports, and the Proton X70

    The big news today is the reveal of the Proton X70, the brand’s first SUV. Proton pulled the wraps off the Geely Boyue-based C-segment SUV at its Centre of Excellence in Shah Alam this morning for a media preview, and you can read all about the new model here.

    The first batch of the Proton X70 will be CBU imports, made by Geely in China. Proton’s Tanjung Malim plant is currently undergoing preparations to produce the X70, and that will start in the middle of next year, according to Yoshiya Inamori, Proton’s VP of manufacturing.

    The reality is that quality of China-made goods have improved by leaps and bounds, but there’s still a stigma when it comes to cars from the country. Inamori, a Mitsubishi veteran, implied that Geely’s quality is well ahead of Proton’s by saying that the Malaysian company is “coming to Geely’s level,” which itself is “close to Volvo’s level.” More on Inamori’s views on Proton’s quality and improvement initiatives here.

    Deputy CEO Datuk Radzaif Mohamed adds that Proton has sent over 500 engineers (on top of the designers) to Geely to not just learn the technical aspects when it comes to quality, but also to “bring back the working culture.” He confirmed to that Proton will be the global production hub for not just the Malaysian market X70, but potential right-hand drive export markets, where it’s likely to be Proton badged.

    GALLERY: Proton X70 colours

    GALLERY: Geely Boyue 1.8L TGDi facelift

  • 2018 Proton X70 SUV – official details finally released!

    We’re weeks away from the official launch of Proton’s first ever SUV, and a closed-door viewing at the company’s headquarters in Shah Alam earlier today finally revealed crucial details of the car, as well as the name, which is X70. The new model will be sold through qualified Proton sales outlets only, and bookings can be made beginning September 8, 2018, with a deposit of RM1,000.

    To start, there will be four variants on offer, starting with the base Standard 2WD, Executive 2WD, Executive AWD and Premium 2WD. All variants will feature a 1.8 litre TGDi turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine producing 181 hp and 285 Nm of torque.

    Design-wise, it’s pretty much the same as we’ve come to expect, seeing the number of times the X70 has been leaked. Up front, it gets a unique winged grille design with three horizontal bars that converge into the Proton badge, and the entire piece is encased in thick chrome surrounds. Very little cosmetic changes have actually been made, because the bulk of work has been to convert it from left-hand drive to right-hand drive – the Boyue is the first Geely model to be converted to RHD.

    Proton’s head of design, Azlan Othman, had earlier said the reason for the minor cosmetic tweaks is to speed up the X70’s market introduction, but more visual changes will come in the CKD version, which is slated for a mid-2019 arrival.

    For now, the X70 gets keyless entry (with active touch sensors on the front door handles) with push-start, electrically foldable wing mirrors, LED projector headlights with LED DRLs, LED fog lamps, 18-inch alloy wheels with Hankook Dynapro HP2 (225/60 R18) tyres, and dark-tinted LED tail lights. As with all recent Proton models, both the head- and tail-lights feature Proton lettering.

    Inside, again, things remain fairly similar to the Geely Boyue facelift, on which the X70 is based on. There’s brown Nappa leather on the seats, door card inserts and steering wheel (on the Premium model, Exec get black synthetic leather), automatic dual-zone climate control and a widescreen 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system (1,920 x 720 pixels) with 4G connectivity. Auto headlights and wipers are also on.

    There’s also voice recognition support (designed with Malaysian English in mind), as ‘demonstrated’ by our premier Tun Dr Mahathir, as well as a fully-digital and configurable instrument panel, which is a first for the Proton brand.

    Decorative trim and material include brushed silver and wool inlays on the dash and silver grab handles. There’s also an Infinite Weave design element found on the door handles and speaker grilles. Elsewhere, there are rear air-con vents and a full-sized panoramic glass roof, but the latter is only available on the top variant.

    According to Yang Jun, VP of group engineering at Geely, the X70 will not be short on technology and equipment. Other features include a 360-degree camera, which shows a 3D view of obstacles surrounding the car, as well as a forward-facing camera at the top of the windscreen to enable the car’s driver assist systems. These enable functions such as autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. The X70 will also come with a blind spot monitor.

    Also on are the “Smartphone Remote Control” and “Smart Air Purifier” features, the latter in reference to the “Air Cleaner” system that can be found above the rear air-con vent between the front seats. A tyre pressure monitoring system is also on the equipment list, and safety kit will include six airbags.

    Other amenities include USB charging ports for the front passenger seat, two more at the back of the centre console, as well as another port behind the rear-view mirror, for those who want to install driving video recorder (dashcam). On the top-spec Premium, the front passenger seats are powered with Toyota Camry-like shoulder controls to boot, while a rear subwoofer is present under the boot floor, sandwiched between the space-saver tyre.

    In terms of performance, the output seen on the 1.8 litre TGDi turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine – which uses Shell oil as the recommended lubricant – is the highest tune available for the petrol-powered Boyue, and the mill is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. There are front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive versions to be had. According to the energy consumption label found on cars in China, combined fuel consumption for a TGDi front-wheel-drive Boyue weighing 1,690 kg is 7.8 litres per 100 km (12.8 km/l).

    So far, the available exterior colour options as we can tell are Flame Red, Snow White, Armour Silver, Jet Grey and Cinnamon Brown. As for the name, Proton adds that ‘X70’ was the most popular choice from almost 90,000 participants that voted in the company’s poll, accounting for 60% of the total votes.

    So far, the national automaker has 77 test vehicles in its fleet and has performed up to 300 vehicle tests and over 500 vehicle system tests on the car. Approximately 750,000 man-hours have gone into the making of this model, and the test mule has clocked over two million kilometres of reliability testing.

    As for pricing, the automaker isn’t saying anything yet on how much the X70 will cost, so everyone will just have to wait for that to be revealed.

    So, what do you think of the Proton X70? Is it living up to the hype, and has it met or surpassed your expectations? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to stay tuned for more updates.

    GALLERY: Proton X70 colours

    GALLERY: Geely Boyue 1.8L TGDi facelift


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Last Updated 01 Sep 2018