Well done Geely and the Proton team with the PROTON X70 SUV for capturing 24% market share of the Malaysian SUV market. If we looked back some 2 years ago no Malaysian would have ever imagined a Proton vehicle being a best seller in the Malaysian car market.
Think about it…..if Geely did not buy into Proton, the company would not be able to keep itself afloat and enjoy even 1% of its current success. It was a well executed partnership and one that benefits thousands of Proton employees, dealers, vendors, business partners and also Proton car buyers.
THEUNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION OF THE PROTON X70
The Proton X70 was the first SUV introducedby Geely to the Malaysian market. To create it, PROTON and its joint venturepartner, Geely, were guided by four distinct philosophies and the tagline‘Intelligence That Inspires.’
The purposeful and energetic lines of theProton X70 were penned by a team led by the Executive Vice President of Designat Geely, Peter Horbury and Geely Shanghai Design Chief, Guy Burgoyne. Theycollaborated with PROTON Design head Azlan Othman and his team of designers whohelped ensure Malaysian elements were incorporated in the design.
This is immediately noticeable in thesilhouette, which was sculpted with explosive energetic lines inspired by themuscular and agile feline form of the Malayan Tiger, conveying a sense ofexplosive forward momentum. Headlamps, featuring daytime running lamps (DRL)create a distinctive pair of ‘eyes’ to reinforce the link. Other Malaysiantouches can be found in the shape of the grille, which takes the shape of atraditional bow, as well as the horizontal elements used featuring a distinctiverepeating pattern inspired by Malaysian craftsmanship, termed the infiniteweave. The finishing exterior touch are wheels available in sizes up to19-inches, adding more latent energy to the stance when at a standstill.
Inside, the interior has been described asThe Haven and was designed as an area that promotes calmness. Information thatis needed is clearly presented via displays customisable by the driver. Luxurytouches abound with the use of metallic surfaces and nappa leather but there isalso a lot of utility touches engineered in the design such as six USB ports tocharge mobile devices and an air purifier system that filters out harmful gasesand kills bacteria. The infinite weave pattern makes a subtle appearance on thedoor handles and speaker grilles to link the interior and exteriorharmoniously.
With the rapid development of mobilecommunication technology, a revolution has begun in the way people travel,changing the auto industry’s understanding of what it means to be online. Withthe boom in autonomous drive technology, the auto industry is becoming‘intelligent’ as vehicles evolve from being a means of transportation to a newintelligent mobility system.
With the launch of the Proton X70, PROTONhas embraced this ethos and moved the goalposts for in-car connectivity. Allvariants will be offered with an advanced Integrated Cockpit Information System(GKUI) offering multiple user functions as well as the ability to stayconnected to a mobile device. Featuring an embedded eSIM card, the system ispreloaded with four apps offering services such as online music streaming,navigation, weather forecasts and voice recognition. Access to the apps andother car functions is via an 8-inch Android based touchscreen interface with a1280 x 720 full colour display with 32GB of internal memory space. It is alsoWi-Fi enabled for mobile hotspot capability.
Connecting Proton X70 owners to theirvehicles is Proton Link, which will use an individual ID that is assigned toevery buyer. By keeping their smart mobile device connected to Proton Link, aprofile of their journeys is created thanks to the on board telematics thatrecords data such as distance travelled, fuel economy, journey times and evenservice intervals. There is also a ‘find my car’ function that will be usefulwhen parking in huge and unfamiliar parking complexes.
Aside from the connectivity functions, truehands free operations for a number of functions is possible thanks to advancedvoice recognition software. The system is accessed by saying ‘Hi Proton’followed by simple spoken commands that can operate the windows and airconditioning system and even access the navigation app to look for points ofinterest. By using an Android based operating system, the GKUI offers mobiledevice users using the same operating software full mirroring capabilities.Finally, the system is also upgradeable with free over-the-air (OTA) updatesimproving the user experience and keeping the apps current.
The driving dynamics of the Proton X70 wasdeveloped by HORIBA MIRA in the United Kingdom. The company balanced the needfor a dynamic driving experience with safe and secure handling and acomfortable ride with enhanced NVH levels. HORIBA MIRA has been working withthe world’s leading car manufacturers to deliver innovative vehicle engineeringsolutions since 1964 and they are actively involved in motorsports engineering.
HORIBA MIRA’s design and developmentexpertise is the secret ingredient in many race winning formulas. HORIBA MIRAhas and is on hand with a proven track record at the highest levels ofprofessional motorsport including: F1, GP2, F3, WRC, Le Mans, WTCC, BTCC, DTMand Land Speed Records.
Every aspect of vehicle development has aspecialist team dedicated to maximising performance and they have a testfacility in a secure location in the heart of Motorsport Valley, England.
The Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (AWD)system, offered on the Executive AWD variant of the Proton X70 was developed byBorg Warner and improves safety and handling in unfavourable road conditions.
Powering the Proton X70 is an engine andgearbox combination new to PROTON. All four variants are powered by a 1.8-litreTurbocharged, Petrol Direct Injection (TGDI) engine producing 184 PS at5,500rpm and 285 Nm of torque from 1,700 – 4,400rpm to provide smooth yetefficient performance, proven by the energy efficient vehicle (EEV) statusawarded by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
Drive from the engine is mated to thedriven wheels via a 6-speed automatic (6AT) with switchable drive modes and amanual sequential shift. Drivers can select from Normal, Eco and Sport to fittheir driving style and road conditions. By doing so the LCD combination meterwill also change colour and display the most relevant information related tothe drive mode selected.
As the Proton X70 is equipped with the mostpowerful engine of any Proton model, the Company focused a lot of engineeringresources to ensure it had a high level of safety that can be divided intothree layers. These are protective, preventive and cognitive and as a wholethey form a comprehensive safety solution.
Standard safety equipment for all variantsconsists of six SRS airbags, rear seat ISOFIX with top tether anchorage,Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), BrakeAssist (BA), Auto Brake Hold, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), TractionControl System (TCS), Hill Hold Assist (HHA), Hill Descent Control (HDC) andEmergency Stop Signal (ESS).
A 360 Camera is offered on Executive andPremium variants while Executive AWD and Premium specification cars alsoreceive a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). The Premium variant also addsan Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) suite to the equipment list. TheADAS on the Proton X70 consists of active and cognitive safety systemsincluding Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Forward Collision Warning (FCW),Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Blind SpotInformation System (BLIS), Door Opening Warning System (DOW) and IntelligentHigh Beam Control (IHBC).
The effectiveness of the comprehensivesafety solution was proven when the Proton X70 was awarded a 5-Star safetyrating in recent ASEAN NCAP tests.