Since Proton and Geely signed their partnership agreement in 2017, Malaysia has become one of the testing grounds for the Geely Auto group. Previously we’ve seen Lynk & Co models running around on Malaysian roads.
Our friends over at Funtasticko broke the story that a Geely Vision S1 was spotted in the compound of an undisclosed Proton facility. You can spot an X70/Boyue in light camouflage in the back background.
It’s almost certain that it’s the Vision S1 as told by the C-pillars, the side window layout as well as the reflectors at the lower bumper.
What is the Geely Vision S1?
It’s a crossover that was launched back in 2017. The name Vision branding attached to it serves as Geely’s most entry-level product. It’s about the size of a Toyota C-HR and Subaru XV (similar wheelbase) which makes it larger than the Proton X50 (Geely Binyue).
Prices for the Vision S1 starts from RMB 59,900 to 94,900 (RM 36k to 58k) in China. As a point of reference, the cheapest Geely Boyue 1.8 turbo (Proton X70) starts from RMB 97,800 (RM 60k).
The Vision S1 comes decently equipped options such as LED headlamps, LCD instrument cluster, 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, intelligent voice command, PM2.5 cabin filter and a panoramic sunroof.
While it doesn’t come with any form of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) (reserved for higher-end Geely models), the Vision S1 is still an attractive (and cheap) proposition for young buyers.
There are 2 powertrain options on the Vision S1 – 1.5-litre naturally aspirated (109 PS/142 Nm) and 1.4-litre turbo (131 PS/215 Nm). Both engines are four-cylinder petrol units paired to either a 6-speed manual or a CVT automatic.
Will the Geely Vision S1 come to Malaysia?
The short answer is, no. We know that Proton’s next immediate model, the Proton X50, will be based on the Geely Binyue followed by an MPV and a sedan model in the future.
Proton’s manufacturing plant in Tanjung Malim has been upgraded to assemble Geely’s next-generation products which are based on the BMA (B-segment modular architecture) platform. The Vision S1 being a previous-generation product would not make sense for Proton and Geely in the near future.
Some media outlets have speculated that the Vision S1 would be the basis for a smaller 'Proton X30' that's positioned below the X50. That would not be possible because the Vision S1 has a longer wheelbase than the X50. It would also be pointless for a 'Proton X60' that slots between the X50 and X70 given how close they are in terms of product positioning.
So, what is the Geely Vision S1 doing here?
Our guess is that Proton and Geely are conducting powertrain testing for the 1.4-litre turbo petrol and CVT automatic. Most likely to study the feasibility of such powertrain combo for the region.
The JLB-4G14T 1.4-litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol meets China’s stringent Level 6 emission standards. This engine will meet most emission standards in the South East Asia region.
There’s also the possibility that this Vision S1 is merely a test mule – an outer shell to hide a new car underneath. But these are all speculations, given the limited information that we have.
But no matter the reason why the Vision S1 is in Malaysia, we are certain that it is not the next Proton SUV, or at least not yet.