Last year, Proton’s newly appointed Chief, Dr Li Chunrong announced that the company will be launching a new model every year until 2021 starting with the Proton X70 in 2018. A fresh set of spy shots uploaded onto a popular Facebook group hints that the national carmaker is working on bringing the Geely Bin Yue to the local market.
While the car in question is heavily covered, we can tell from the car’s silhouette, expanding Cosmos grille front bumper sculpture and quad exhaust outlets that it is none other than the Bin Yue B-Segment SUV (to be called Proton X50?).
It appears that there are two separate units photographed as told by one unit spotting the more aggressive sports spoiler and the other a standard trim spoiler. Both cars are still in their left-hand-drive configuration.
In China, the Bin Yue is powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine co-developed with Volvo paired to a 7-speed wet dual-clutch transmission pushing out 177 hp and 255 Nm of torque. The front-wheel-drive SUV is capable of sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.9 seconds and has a rated fuel consumption of 6.1L per 100km.
Despite competing against the likes of Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3, the Bin Yue is armed to the teeth with dual tone leather upholstery, 7.0-inch LCD instrument cluster display, 10.25-inch floating touchscreen display, electronic gear selector, panoramic sunroof and Level 2 semi-autonomous driving technology.
Looking at what Proton was able to offer on the X70, don’t be surprised that the RHD Bin Yue to go on sale in Malaysia with all the options and features ticked.
In China, the Bin Yue is priced between RMB78,800 (RM47k) for the base 1.0L (MT) to RMB118,800 (RM71k) for the range-topping model and comes with an 8-Years or 300,000 km mileage warranty.
Factoring the price positioning of B-Segment SUVs in Malaysia as well as the X70’s pricing, we speculate that the X50 (again, we’re jumping the gun on the name) will be priced in the region of RM70k to high RM80k – any higher it will be eating into the X70’s market share.
However, do not expect to see the X50 hit showroom floors by 2020 as the first spy shots have only emerged and it would take the engineers at least 12 to 18 months (around the same time it took to develop the RHD X70) to re-engineer the car for right-hand-drive markets. Factoring in marketing campaigns and lead time, we will most likely see the first RHD X50 sometime in 2020.
Besides, Proton has already filled up this year’s launch promise with the facelifted Proton Iriz.
Geely Bin Yue Spied in Malaysia
Geely Bin Yue at GuangZhou Motor Show