The much rumoured Proton X50 (tentative model name) is set to be introduced sometime this year by the national carmaker, and it’s been confirmed to be launched here as a locally assembled (CKD) car. However, there are reports that imported (CBU) units of the Geely Binyue Pro – which the X50 will be based on – has arrived in Malaysia, and it’s sporting a new 1.4L turbocharged engine as well.
We first caught wind of this from a Facebook post by The Ajerul that dates back to 12 June. According to the page, CBU units of the Proton X50 have arrived in Port Klang, and it will supposedly be launched as the first batch of the new model. Of course, the 1.4L turbocharged engine is said to be offered as well.
On top of that, a recent report by Funtasticko – a local automotive site – citing an anonymous source, confirmed that CBU units of the X50 have indeed made it here. However, according to its source, these units are the Binyue Pro, and they are only brought here to serve as test mules. The source added that Proton has no plans to introduce any CBU variants of the X50.
So why did Proton bring in the Binyue Pro here? Well, one theory suggests that the national carmaker is planning to add a 1.4L turbocharged engine option to the B-segment compact SUV. Previously, it was widely believed to be powered by a 1.5L turbocharged engine co-developed by both Geely and Volvo.
But, again, why would Proton consider doing this? Well, for one, even though the 1.5L engine is more powerful – it outputs 174hp and 255Nm of torque – it’s a three-cylinder engine. Compared to more conventional four-cylinder mills, the former is usually not as refined; it will vibrate and rattle more harshly.
And that’s what makes the 1.4L engine more attractive, as it’s a four-cylinder mill. It’s still a decently powerful engine too, generating 141hp and 235Nm of torque. Not quite as capable as the 1.5L engine, but these are still very respectable figures.
That being said, it’s worth noting that the 1.4L engine option is only offered in the base configuration of the Binyue Pro for the Chinese market. Chances are, this could be mirrored for the Malaysian market as well, though this is only an educated guess at this point in time.
Nonetheless, we can only wait for the Proton X50 to be officially unveiled to find out. There’s no concrete release date yet, though booking for the B-segment compact SUV is rumoured to begin as early as next month in July 2020. As for pricing, the X50 is expected to be positioned right behind the Proton X70, which now starts at only RM89,900.