No, don’t believe the sales talk, the Proton X50 is not a budget Volvo XC40

Eric · Sep 15, 2020 05:00 PM

The Proton X50 has just been unveiled, more than a year since the model was first spotted on Malaysian roads. First spyshots of the Proton X50 (then Geely Binyue) surfaced back in February 2019, followed by Proton’s registration of the X50 name a month later.

Now that preliminary details of Proton’s latest and highly-anticipated B-segment SUV is out, it’s time to debunk some myths.

Is the Proton X50 developed from the Volvo XC40?

The answer is no, as the Proton X50 is based on the Geely Binyue, itself a brand-new model developed from the ground-up using the BMA platform (B-segment Modular Architecture), which is totally unrelated to the Volvo XC40’s CMA platform (Compact Modular Architecture).

The BMA platform is developed in-house by Geely, while the CMA platform is developed by CEVT, a joint-venture company between Geely and Volvo.

Does the Proton X50 get a Volvo engine?

Not really.

The Volvo XC40 T3 pictured

Yes, the Volvo XC40 T3 (not sold in Malaysia) uses a similar 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine as the Proton X50 1.5 TGDI Flagship, the engine does not belong to Volvo.

The Malaysia-spec XC40 is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that does 252 PS and 350 Nm, hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

This particular engine, codenamed JLH-3G15TD (for Geely), is co-developed between Volvo and Geely. Both brands share the rights to the engine and it’s not correct to say that the engine belongs to Volvo.

Put it this way, the Mercedes-Benz A200's 1.3-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder is co-developed with Renault. The rights to the engine is shared between both companies. Do you say that the Renault Megane uses a Mercedes-Benz engine?

Still disagree? The TGDI engine is built by Geely, at the company's Yiwu plant in China.

Update: Geely has since confirmed that the Geely Binyue's 1.5 TD/Proton X50's 1.5 TGDI engine is not the same as the one used in the Volvo XC4 T3. Only 10 percent of the Proton's (Geely) engine parts are built to Volvo's standards, which is only logical. How else could a manufacturer sustain a business by putting high cost engine in a lower selling price product?

Is the gearbox from Volvo?

The Proton X50 features a seven-speed wet-type dual-clutch (DCT) automatic transmission that’s shared the Proton X70.

Though the gearbox is also used in the Volvo XC40 T5 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid, it was actually developed in-house by Geely.

2020 Proton X70 CKD DCT Reliability

The seven-speed DCT has been deployed in a number of Geely models, including the Borui GE, Xingyue, Dihao GS/GL, and Jiaji MPV.

In short, the Proton X50 is not a budget Volvo XC40.