Track days at the Sepang International Circuit are usually reserved for high-performance cars, so imagine our reaction when we received the invitation for a media drive in Sepang, not for a Mercedes-AMG or BMW M, but for the Proton X50.
Granted, upon arrival at the Sepang circuit, we found out that our driving time with the Proton X50 will be quite limited, with only two driving exercises planned for the day. But even so, who’s going to resist any chance of driving on the Formula 1-grade circuit?
Being a media preview specifically for the performance of the Proton X50, it was quite peculiar to see that half of the activities planned for the day were not for the performance of the car – at least not in the sense that we all understand. Slightly disappointing to be honest (we really wanted to drive on track), but still exciting seeing that the Proton X50 is the first vehicle in its segment to feature level 2 autonomous driving features.
Among the features demonstrated during the session was Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC). Being a L2 autonomous driving feature, the Proton X50 Flagship is capable of steering the vehicle by itself, in addition to just acceleration and braking – also called adaptive cruise control (ACC).
The ACC on the X50 is also improved compared to its elder brother – the X70 – where it is now able to come to a complete stop by itself, and continue driving automatically when the car ahead moves away. There is a three-second limit to this function before the driver has to manually step in to resume, but it should be quite useful to keep your sanity in check during slow crawling traffic jams.
The other new L2 autonomous feature on board the Proton X50 is the Auto Park Assist feature, which can automatically park the vehicle in both parallel and perpendicular parking spots, and also exit tight spaces by just holding down the park assist button.
As for the driving activities, we were presented with a slalom course with an emergency lane change exercise, as well as the chance to pit the X50 Flagship against the BMW X1 sDrive18i and Honda HR-V in a 0-100 km/h “drag race”. How did that pan out? Well, we’ll leave it to you to find out in the video.