Proton X90 to debut in Q2 2023 with 1.5 TGDi mild-hybrid engine!

Proton held a business briefing event for the press yesterday, where it outlined its sales targets and goals for the coming years. Among the details shared were its upcoming product strategy, and while Proton deputy CEO Roslan Abdullah was being cryptic in his speech, he essentially told members of the media to “read between the lines”. So after piecing everything together and doing some extra digging, here’s what we came up with – the Proton X90 will debut in Malaysia in the second quarter of 2023, and it’ll include a mild hybrid powertrain option!

The Proton X90 is almost an open secret at this point, having being sighted on Malaysian roads multiple times previously. Based on the Geely Haoyue (or Okavango in certain markets), the seven-seater model will become the flagship model in Proton’s range, sitting atop its SUV line-up that currently consists of the X70 and X50.

In the Philippines, the Okavango is offered with a mild-hybrid 1.5-litre turbocharged powertrain, utilising the same 1.5-litre TGDi three-cylinder mill that Proton is making in its new engine assembly line in Tanjung Malim. As a whole, the mild-hybrid powertrain makes 190 hp and 300 Nm of torque, with power delivered to the front wheels via a seven-speed DCT gearbox.

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The mild hybrid route is Proton’s first step in its electrification roadmap, which will eventually lead to a full-blown home-grown EV in the future. The 1.5 TGDi engine has been designed for electrification from the get-go, so it’ll be a fairly straightforward add-on for Proton. We’ve already seen the mild-hybrid powertrain on display at Proton’s Gallery of Inspiration at its Centre of Excellence outlet.

In the shorter term, we could also see the mild hybrid powertrain utilised in the updated X70 here in Malaysia, as it’s also already being offered in the Philippines on the Azkarra (Boyue Pro).

As for the Proton X90, we’ll still have to wait a little longer before we know its specifications in detail. A non-electrified X90 powered by the standard 1.5 TGDi three-cylinder engine could also be on the cards for lower-end models – the Geely Haoyue is offered in China with a 1.8-litre turbocharged inline-four engine, the same engine that was replaced by the newer 1.5-litre mill on the X70 recently.

Based on what was shared during the business briefing yesterday, we can also expect it to feature a high level of connectivity features, with infotainment systems developed in conjunction with ACO Tech.

And if you’re wondering when the Proton X90 will launch here in Malaysia, Roslan Abdullah had this to say: “If you’re waiting for a Proton event to visit Tanjung Malim, we will be organising events in March, April, May, and so on – so keep your calendars clear.” Seems pretty clear-cut, don’t you think?



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