Here’s a pleasant surprise for Malaysians who are eagerly waiting for the first ever Proton SUV, it appears Tun Dr Mahathir had the opportunity to see and test drive the new Proton SUV today as shared on his official Facebook page. The best part is that the SUV is a proper right-hand drive (RHD) model.
Earlier, Proton’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Li Chunrong revealed that RHD models of the Geely Boyue-based SUV will be presented to the public earliest in July while marketing campaigns of the SUV will commence in August. Both Dr Li Chunrong and Geely Chairperson, Li Shufu were also present at the test drive exercise with Tun Mahathir.
The premier did not reveal any personal impressions of the new SUV and the photographers were careful to not photograph the whole car in full view. But we can still tell some of the key highlights on the new SUV – five-twin-spoke alloy wheels, 360-degree camera, camera/radar for the autonomous emergency braking, panoramic sunroof and roof rails.
We can also tell the design of the national carmaker’s SUV will differ from the Boyue, judging by the horizontal grille. This exercise is in line with the carmaker’s promise to feature minor design differences. Future locally-assembled units will get more substantial design input from Proton’s head of design, Azlan Othman.
The soon-to-be-launched Proton SUV will first be introduced as fully imported units from China with an indicated launch date of September or October 2018. Local assembly will only begin in early 2019 at Proton’s Tanjung Malim plant.