The Proton X70 driving experience
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The Proton X70 driving experience
Bangkok, 3 April 2019 - The Proton X70 is the first vehicle to be jointly developed by PROTON and its partner Geely, and is the first premium SUV by a Malaysian automotive brand. It also introduces PROTON to a new market segment and is the key catalyst for the total rejuvenation of the brand. When developing the Proton X70, both PROTON and Geely collaborated on multiple levels. From the cross deployment of staff in China and Malaysia, to testing in Malaysia’s hot and humid climate to the collaboration between local and international vendors, the goal was to ensure a product that is perfectly suited to the needs of Malaysian and ASEAN car buyers.
“The Proton X70 is the result of more than one year of hard work by PROTON and Geely engineers, designers and hundreds of other people working together to develop the first premium SUV by a Malaysian car manufacturer. PROTON is proud of our achievement and it is our belief Malaysian car buyers will be equally proud to own an SUV that will help to transform the Proton brand. With over 10,000 bookings, it already has a good start so we will work hard to deliver on our product and brand promise,” said Dr Li Chunrong, Chief Executive Officer, PROTON.
One of the key design ideas that are unique to the X70 is seen at the front grille, which is referred to as the “infinite weave,” a pattern inspired by batik and Malaysian wood carvings not only on the exterior, but also on the speaker covers inside the SUV. The chrome surround on the grille is also another standout feature, as its shape is inspired by a bow, one of the traditional weapons used in the past. The Malayan tiger is the source of inspiration, seeing how the big cat can be found on various symbols like The National Emblem of Malaysia (Jata Negara in Malay) and obviously, Proton’s logo. Therefore, the X70’s muscular body surfacing and the headlamp design are reminiscent of the body and eyes of a tiger, a further showcase of Proton’s identity.
The Proton X70 is a right-hand-drive version of the Geely Boyue with minor cosmetic differences. The Proton X70 is a compact crossover SUV produced by the Chinese automaker Geely, For the first batch, the X70 is fully built-up in Hangzhou, China, the most populous city of Zhejiang Province and home to PROTON’s joint venture partner, Geely. At 4,519 mm long, 1,831 mm wide and 1,694 mm tall, the X70 dimensions and wheelbase length at 2,670 mm is identical to the Geely Boyue. The X70 is marketed as a C-segment SUV. It feels nice to be inside the X70, everything feels good and well thought out.
For the first co-developed vehicle by Geely and PROTON concentrated exclusively on the Integrated Cockpit Information System (GKUI), which will offer owners multiple user functions via apps as well as the option to stay connected to the car via their mobile device. Featuring an embedded eSIM card, the GKUI in the Proton X70 is preloaded with five apps offering services such as online radio, online music, navigation, weather forecasts and voice recognition. Access to the apps and other car functions is via an 8-inch Android based touchscreen interface featuring a 1280 x 720 full colour display with 16GB of internal memory space. The system also has Wi-Fi connectivity so the X70 can be used as a mobile hotspot. To fully exploit the connectivity capabilities, owners can pair their cars with their personal mobile device via Proton Link and use an individual ID that is assigned to every buyer. They can then create a profile of their driving thanks to the on board telematics that will record data such as distance travelled, fuel economy, journey times and even keep track of service intervals. There is also a ‘find my car’ function that will be particularly useful when parking in huge and unfamiliar parking complexes.
“The GKUI system in the Proton X70 allows owners to stay almost constantly connected to their car. It’s an active two-way system that allows for multiple options to fit the preferences of individual owners. In the future, the ability to download additional apps will also be offered and just like mobile devices, it means no two cars will be exactly alike,” added Dr Li Chunrong. Because it runs on an Android operating system, the GKUI offers Android mobile device users full mirroring capabilities. That means apps owners have on their device can be accessed on the Proton X70’s touchscreen thus offering yet more connectivity possibilities. Apple OS user won’t be able to do the same though they will be able to connect to the X70 via Bluetooth to access telephone and contact list functions.
True hands free operation of a number of functions on the Proton X70 is now possible thanks to advanced voice recognition software that allows the use of spoken commands. Access to the system is granted when an owner utters the phrase ‘Hi Proton’ which opens up a variety of choices that can be controlled simply by speaking a command. This includes operating the windows and air-conditioning system and even accessing the navigation app to look for places to eat nearby. Currently, the GKUI offers voice recognition for English phrases only as there are software limitations but we have ensured the phrases it recognises are easy to use even for owners who are not fluent speakers of the language.
The Proton X70 is available in four variants - Standard 2WD, Executive 2WD, Executive AWD, and Premium 2WD. The SUV is offered in five colour options - Snow white, Armour Silver, Jet Grey, Cinnamon Brown, and Flame Red (availability depends upon the variant selected). The Proton X70 1.8 TGDI PREMIUM 2WD is priced at RM123,800,- (on-the-road price excluding insurance).
Powering the Proton X70 is a 1.8-litre TGDI engine producing 183 PS of power and peak torque of 285 Nm at 1,700-4,300 rpm. The engine is connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission with a manual drive mode selector. It is claimed that the front-wheel-drive X70 can sprint from zero to 100km/h in just 10.5 seconds. As far as fuel economy is concerned, the X70 is claimed to return a combined fuel efficiency of 12.8 km/l.
Our X70 Premium 2WD features Nappa Leather. The dash looks quite upmarket with silver finishes. The doors and speaker panels get wood garnishing that enhances the overall appeal of the cabin. There is a multi-function flat-bottom steering wheel with controls mounted on it. The centre console features an 8-inch infotainment system with 6 USB ports, voice command support, Bluetooth, navigation and built-in e-SIM functionality for on-the-go connectivity. Proton likes to call it a GKUI infotainment system powered by Android. For a detailed vehicle information, the company has added a fully-digital multi-info display that provides all the necessary details about the vehicle to the driver.
As said, the new Proton X70 resembles the Geely Boyue but to a certain extent. The Proton designers have done a commendable job to incorporate Malaysian details. Up front, it gets a unique ‘infinite weave’ pattern on the grille whose design cues have been taken from the Malaysian wood carvings. The chrome-garnished grille is flanked by LED headlamps with daytime running lights that do not come as standard. The standard X70 gets halogen headlamps. The muscular structure of the Boyue is something that you see on the X70 - features prominent wheel arches over 18-inch alloys (17-inch are available with the base variant), wide D-pillar look, panoramic sunroof, and slim LED wrap-around taillights. The SUV looks even more enticing with the colours it wears. There are a total of five colours available, including Jet Grey, Armour Silver, Snow White, Flame Red, and Cinnamon Brown. The Flame Red, which the company promotes more than any other on the list, is available only with the Premium 2WD variant.