I’m not much of a coffee drinker but here I am at a Starbucks with a Mocha frap in hand while going through the notes taken during Proton’s second preview of the X70. Two things are immediately evident – there’s much more on the notebook compared to during the first preview, and second, while my handwriting is still decipherable, it wouldn’t be excessive to think that I wrote it all while having a mild stroke.
My first note was written even before the briefing started:
For the first time ever, we’re not at Proton R&D’s design studio where media previews for yet-to-be launched models are usually held. “Maybe the design studio is filled with new exciting things that still needs to be hidden?”
Could be, right? Or could it be that the Sheraton PJ’s posh ballroom is a more appropriate venue for explaining the X70’s new technology? The few people I ask insists it’s the latter. I’m half convinced…
I should tell you now that Proton planned and split these previews into difference ‘segments’; the first was for the SUV’s design, and this second one is for the car’s reputedly advanced electronics and technology. There are three pillars into this factor as explained by Abdul Rashid Musa, Proton Edar CEO and vice president of sales and marketing – Safety, Responsive Performance, and Redefined Connectivity.
The car has been tested by ASEAN NCAP, but during this event Proton shared with us what the donor car (Geely Boyue) scored as graded by C-NCAP (China-NCAP, of course), and came out with a score of 58.2 out of 61 points, the highest in the segment. This is based on the 2015 standard though, which lumps the scores from different tests together thus not quite as revealing as the latest 2017-2020 protocol (as more recently performed by ASEAN NCAP).
The car is running an ESC system based on the latest Bosch 9.1 software. Also part of the system is Hill Hold Assist (this holds the car stationary on uphill starts for two seconds before rollback), and Hill Descent Control. With this, the system will keep the X70 at 4kph during descent. These are all standard for all four variants.
The top spec 2WD Premium will get ADAS (advanced driver assistance system) comprising of automatic emergency braking(AEB), front collision warning (FCW), adaptive cruise control (ACC), lane departure warning (LDW), blind spot information system (BLIS), and intelligent high beam control (IHBC).
Features such as FCW and LDW are based on input from an array of cameras located, for example, on the front grille (just below the Proton logo), and at the rear side of the rear-view mirror.
The car’s tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) measure both tyre pressure and temperature with info displayed at the centre of the meter panel.
The parking sensor gives audio and visual assistance, while a 360 deg camera gives an interpolated view of the X70’s surrounding. Image from this feature is displayed on the centre display.
Getting back to the ACC, it works between 30kph to 150kph. Unfortunately does not include a low-speed follow function.
Some known factors include the multi-link system for rear suspension, but also in my notes is the abbreviation – MIRA. We will try to find out more about this but it’s most likely where the chassis was tuned, which is the UK-based Motor Industry Research Association and a consultant and automotive engineering firm. Also, the all-wheel drive system (only found in the Executive AWD variant) is by BorgWarner, and capable of automatically switching between AWD and front-wheel drive as traction demand changes.