Proton will soon unveil its first SUV, but is inviting the public to submit their vote for their naming preference.
Four possible names have been revealed: Proton X7, Proton PX7, Proton X70 or Proton X700. Proton has also asked the public for submissions.
Along with the names comes a teaser video (below) which tells us a bit more about the new crossover.
Thanks to a tie up between Proton’s owners (Proton is 50.1% owned by DRB-HICOM and 49.9% by Zhejiang Geely) the new SUV is based on the Geely Boyue. The conversion from left-hand-drive to right hook, plus manufacturing of various components is said to be done at Proton’s Tanjung Malim plant.
With a right-hand-drive SUV, it opens the doors to Proton selling into markets like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and others.
Proton says that there will be plenty of high-tech additions to the new Proton SUV, with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), adaptive (radar-based) cruise control, smart voice recognition and a 360 degree view camera system. Park assist could also be a possibility.
This will put Proton on the map in terms of safety, which is crucial to break into the aforementioned overseas markets.
“The first product jointly developed with our partner Geely will be the starting point of a new model range for the company so we want as many people as possible to get up close and take a look at the future of Proton,” said Abdul Rashid Musa, Proton’s sales and marketing vice president.
Proton says that as of April 11, over 69,000 Facebook users had participated in the naming poll. The video below, which was also posted on Facebook has now been viewed more than 200,000 times, with more than 1,300 shares.
The interest in the new Proton SUV is huge, and it will now come down to price. With the Geely Boyue currently priced at RM68,500 (110,000 yuan) in China, and competitors such as the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 are sold at over RM100,000, it will need to find a sweet spot to appeal to buyers.
While exact spec hasn’t been revealed, the Geely Boyue on which it’s based is a five seat SUV that sits in between small and medium sizes (also known as C-segment SUV).
Under the bonnet, the most powerful engine is a 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder producing 181bhp and 285Nm. The transmission is a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox (made by DSI), running to either the front wheels only, or (optionally) all four wheels.
SUV Authority will keep you up to date on the name and launch date of the Proton SUV when we find out.