Proton to use Geely 1.4L turbo in Proton X50, Iriz & Persona?
Adrian Chia · Apr 17, 2020 02:28 PM
The Geely Vision S1 crossover was spotted in Protons private compound earlier. We have detailed why the Vision S1 crossover will not be launched to the Malaysian market, instead, it is more likely that Proton is having the car to conduct feasibility studies.
Feasibility study for what exactly remains a question mark, but the recent launch of the Geely Binyue Pro seems to have shed some light to the situation.
The Binyue pro in China now gains a new 1.4-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine option that is positioned one rung lower than the 177 PS/ 255 Nm 1.5-litre turbocharged 3-cylinder petrol (uses a 7-speed wet DCT).
The 1.4-litre mill bears the engine code JLB-4G14T is meant for front-wheel drive applications and packs a maximum output of 141 PS and 235 Nm (Vision S1 gets a lower tune of 131 PS/215 Nm). To put things into perspective, the Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI has 150 PS and 250 Nm. Even Proton’s very own 1.6 CFE turbo makes only 140 PS and 205 Nm.
In the Binyue Pro, the new 1.4-litre mill is paired to either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed dual-clutch transmission (wet-type). However, on the Vision S1 it uses a CVT automatic instead which explains why the Binyue Pro has a higher output.
How fuel efficient is it?
Geely claims that the engine is capable of returning as low as 5.9 L/100 km on the Vision S1 crossover and it meets China’s stringent Level 6 emission standards – which is equivalent to Euro 6 emission standards.
Key highlights of the engine include maintenance-free timing chain, Variable Valve Timing (VVT) on the intake, aluminium block and multi-port injection.
Will it be available in Malaysia?
It’s still too soon to say for sure and if Proton is just in their early testing phase, it will take months to years end before the engine is ready for the market.
This is because they will need to study how does the engine perform in our hot weather climate, Malaysian driving behaviour, the suitability of our local fuel quality as well as reliability and longevity.
In China, the Binyue Pro 1.4-litre turbo is positioned as the entry-level model and is priced as such too at RMB 79,800 (RM 49k) and RMB 91,800 (RM 56k). Although it’s worth noting that it’s also lesser equipped – without sunroof, LCD instrument cluster, ADAS and smaller wheels.
Proton may take a similar approach offering the 1.4-litre turbo in the lower range Proton X50.
What about other Proton models?
If you look at Protons current range of models, the ones to benefit the most from the 1.4-litre turbo would be the Proton Iriz and Persona which currently uses the 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated VVT petrol engine and CVT combo with 109 PS and 150 Nm.
Not only does the 1.4-litre turbo offer more performance, but it is also more fuel and cost-efficient. The smaller engine capacity compared to the 1.6-litre also means cheaper road tax (for saloon cars in Peninsular Malaysia) for consumers at RM 70 vs. RM 90.
The Iriz and Persona both have very capable chassis that could more than well handle more powerful output and this 1.4-litre can potentially bring out the best of the Iriz/Persona driving engagement.
Maybe, just maybe, this turbo engine can finally make a Proton Iriz R3 hot hatch a reality, with a proper 6-speed manual box no less.