After spending just over a month at sea, the first batch of 1 200 models from returning Malaysian automaker, Proton, arrived in the port of Durban this past week.
Going on sale in September, the line-up will initially consist of the X50 and X70 SUVs, followed at a later stage by the updated Saga small sedan.
Returning to South African soil after a 12-year hiatus, the Chinese-owned brand entered into a partnership with Combined Motor Holdings (CMH) in April for the distribution of its models, which will be sold at 25 dealerships across the country before year-end.
Starting the range off, the mentioned X50 serves as the entry-level model and like its sibling, is based on a model from parent company Geely, in this case, the Binyue that debuted in China four years ago before being rebadged as a Proton.
Mounted on Geely’s B-segment Modular Architecture (BMA), which the automaker states has no links with the CMA used by the Volvo XC40, the X50 comes in a choice of four trim levels; Standard, Luxury, Executive and Premium, with the former trio utilising the lower-output 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine rated at 110kW/226Nm.
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For the Premium, the T-GDI badged version of the same engine, used in the XC40, is employed with outputs of 130kW/255Nm.
The drive configuration is similar for both in the shape of traction going to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. For now, no performance or fuel consumption details are known.
At the same time, only select specification details were divulged, namely 17-inch alloy wheels on the Standard and Luxury, 18-inches on the Executive and Premium, and three interior choices; black fabric on the Standard, black-and-red leatherette on the Luxury and Executive, and black leatherette on the Premium.
In total, the X50 has a six colour palette; white, silver, grey, red, blue and orange, though no official designations for the hues were divulged.
At the other of the scale, the X70, which benefitted from a facelift in Malaysia last month, serves as the range’s flagship and one of the first Proton badged Geely models since the Chinese marque’s takeover seven years ago.
Based on the Geely NL platform, the facelift saw the X70 takes leave of its 1.8-litre turbo-petrol engine in favour of the X50’s T-GDI. Outputs are unchanged with the same applying to the transmission, however, drive can be routed to all four wheels on the Executive.
As for trim levels, the Standard rides on 17-inch alloy wheels with the interior draped in black cloth, while the mentioned Executive is mounted on 18-inch alloys with black leatherette for the latter.
Capping the range off, the Premium receives 19-inch alloys, as well as the same black leatherette interior as the Executive.
As for colours, the Proton X70 can be ordered from a choice of six hues; white, grey, silver, brown, light grey and red. As with the X50, the exact colour denominators will be disclosed later.
- X50 1.5T Standard DCT – R450 000
- X50 1.5T Luxury DCT – R500 000
- X50 1.5T Executive DCT – R525 000
- X50 1.5 T-GDI Premium DCT – R550 000
- X70 1.5 T-GDI Standard DCT – R519 000
- X70 1.5 T-GDI Executive DCT – R550 000
- X70 1.5 T-GDI Executive AWD DCT – R590 000
- X70 1.5 T-GDI Premium DCT – R600 000
Additional details can be found here.