The compact SUV is a hotly contested segment in India and it seems there might be yet another new launch in this space in the coming years. The highly crowded segment marked the entry for Kia in India with the Seltos and it’s likely that Malaysian car brand Proton would be following a similar suit. The automaker’s Proton X50 was recently spotted testing in India for the first time, fuelling these rumours.
The Proton X50 was spotted on the Pune-Nashik highway in Maharashtra wearing red plates with a temporary registration as seen on most test mules. It’s not clear if Proton has any plans to enter the Indian market. The automaker has not made any official announcements yet. However, there is a possibility that it could be conducting a feasibility study with the X50 or possibly testing the car in India. India and South East markets are similar in certain requirements, which would make it ideal to test the car in the country for larger ASEAN markets.
The test mule images reveal the Proton X50 to be a rather sizeable car with a sporty stance. The compact SUV measures 4,330 mm in length, 1,800 mm in width and 1,609 mm in height. The wheelbase is 2,600 mm long. The SUV is longer than the Hyundai Creta by a good 30 mm and about 5 mm shorter than the Seltos. Both the Creta and Seltos though get a longer wheelbase at 2,610 mm. The SUV is based on the BMA modular platform, which has been jointly developed by Geely and Volvo. Speaking of which, Chinese automaker Geely owns a nearly 50 per cent stake in Proton.
On the feature front, the Proton X50 is fairly loaded with LED headlamps, 18-inch alloy wheels, quad exhaust tailpipes and dual-tone colour options. The cabin gets a dual-tone interior, an LCD instrument console, a panoramic sunroof, an electrically adjustable driver’s seat, rear AC vents, a floating centre console with a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, voice command, navigation, and more. On the safety front, the five-seater SUV gets six airbags, ESC, ABS with EBD as well as ADAS that brings a suite of safety tech including AEB, adaptive cruise control, Lane Keeping Assist, Blindspot monitoring, and more. There’s also Auto Park Assist, TPMS, 360-degree camera and more.
The Proton X50 in Malaysia gets the 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine with 148 bhp and 226 Nm of peak torque, paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. As we said, there’s no official word on if the Proton X50 will make its way to the Indian market. But if it does, the SUV will take on the turbo petrol variants of the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, MG Astor, Volkswagen Taigun, Skoda Kushaq as well as the upcoming Citroen C3 Aircross. Other rivals include the Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara, Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder, and the upcoming Honda Elevate. Pricing will be key for Proton’s success in India.