One major highlight of the newly launched locally-assembled (CKD) 2020 Proton X70 is the adoption of a new 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that replaces the conventional 6-speed torque converter automatic.
Most Malaysians would be familiar with the term DCT (dual-clutch transmission) no thanks to the Volkswagen DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) and Ford PowerShift that started the discussion of DCT reliability. Since then, DCTs have become something that consumers would actively avoid or at least raised an eyebrow at.
However, Proton and its partner Geely, have reassured that the 7-speed DCT equipped on the X70 CKD would not be plagued with such issues and will be as reliable as the old 6-speed auto.
This 7-speed DCT is developed in-house by Geely themselves and is now used on 10 models within the Geely Auto Group (Lynk & Co, Volvo). There are over 600,000 cars equipped with this 7-speed DCT on the road worldwide.
To ensure the durability of the 7-speed DCT, Geely powertrain engineers have tested the transmission extensively in different driving and climate conditions – from Shanghai rush hour traffic to the scorching weather of Alica Springs, Australia.
In total, the 7-speed DCT has clocked over 9,000,000 km of development mileage. Geely claims that this transmission has a lifespan of over 350,000 km – provided that it goes through its routine maintenance.
However, Proton engineers were tasked to conduct their internal testing and perform the necessary calibrations to ensure that the X70 CKD 7-speed DCT is suitable for local driving conditions.
Proton has adapted the transmission to be suited for Malaysian driving behaviour (creep in traffic), road conditions (traffic jams & consistent high-speed driving) and our hot and humid climate. Proton has managed to clock over 2,000,000 km in development mileage for the DCT calibration.
As a result, the X70’s DCT creeps forward confidently without jerking motion, even when setting off from an incline. This is the biggest difference (and improvement) compared to the Geely Binyue (future Proton X50) and Geely Jiaji (future Proton MPV) that we’ve tested earlier.
This localised calibration not only makes city driving more comfortable, but it also gives Malaysian customers the confidence that this transmission is properly-suited for our local driving demands and not taken wholesale from Geely.