In just a few days, Proton will launch its first-ever SUV model, the X70. Based on the Geely Boyue, the X70 incorporates a few styling cues that are unique to our market and representative of Malaysian culture. During the recent Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show (KLIMS 18), Guy Burgoyne, head of design at Geely Design China, spoke about the design of the SUV and how it came to be.
According to Burgoyne, work on the X70 started over a year ago when he and his team got together with Azlan Othman, head of design at Proton, to better understand Malaysian customers. Aside from adapting the global product to our local environment such as converting it from left- to right-hand drive, powertrain refinement, suspension tuning and others, the group also identified elements that are distinctively Malaysia which can be featured on the vehicle.
These touches aren’t exaggerated to be identified from afar – it is still the Boyue’s body – but as you get closer to the X70, the details come to light. One of the key design ideas that are unique to the X70 is seen at the front grille, which is referred to as the “infinite weave,” a pattern inspired by batik and Malaysian wood carvings. You’ll not only find this on the exterior, but also on the speaker covers inside the SUV.
The chrome surround on the grille is also another standout feature, as its shape is inspired by a bow, one of the traditional weapons used in the past. Burgoyne also mentions the Malayan tiger as a source of inspiration, seeing how the big cat can be found on various symbols like our Jata Negara and obviously, Proton’s logo.
Therefore, the X70’s muscular body surfacing and the headlamp design are reminiscent of the body and eyes of a tiger, a further showcase of Proton’s identity. Aside from the styling adjustments, the SUV also gets a revamped GKUI Android-based infotainment system to operate properly in our country.
As a recap, the X70 will be offered in Standard 2WD, Executive 2WD, Executive AWD and Premium 2WD variants. All are powered by a 1.8 litre turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder petrol engine, producing 181 hp at 5,500 rpm and 285 Nm of torque from 1,700 to 4,400 rpm. It’s paired to a six-speed automatic transmission.
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