PAD Motors, the authorised local distributor of Proton vehicles, recently organised the “Borneo Inspiration Drive”- a day out for some fun driving to Miri, Sarawak with the premium variant of the all-new Proton X70.

The Bruneian had the opportunity to experience first-hand both the performance of the automobile and the array of technological features of the five-seater Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV).

The new Proton X70 is captivating in design; never did a test car we drove turned so many heads during our drive along the highway en route to the Malaysian city.

Indeed, Proton has done a terrific job, bestowing an air of elegance and athleticism upon a conventional SUV silhouette.

The new Proton X70 unveiled at its launching at The Empire Hotel & Country Club on 27/07/19. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

BEHIND THE WHEELS

The ride kicked off onto the rocky roads of Tutong, where we test out the lane departure warning at such a tight route. The X70’s system with all the additional technology surrounding it felt natural.

We played around with the three relevant modes while on the road; Normal, Eco and Sports, all are quite intuitive.

In every twist and turns, the X70 is simply fun to drive. It pulls hard and quick; the suspension is extremely tight and the steering is rather responsive.

On the fast highway from Bukit Beruang in Tutong to Sepakat Petrol Station in Kuala Belait, the vehicle drives effortlessly, as you would expect from a premium trim.

During the drive, what’s impressive was the X70’s comfort which was felt by both driver and passengers.

The new Proton X70 unveiled at its launching at The Empire Hotel & Country Club on 27/07/19. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

The SUV’s layout offers a good sense of space – in the rear head and legroom with the panoramic sunroof which truly gives an open feel.

To further test out the capabilities of its technology, we had a chance to experience the SUV further with the Proton Dynamic Drive Activities around the carpark of the Miri Stadium.

Prior to the driving activities, we were briefed on the highlighted technology features of the SUV which involved the Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and the impressive 360-degree camera.

We pushed the Proton X70 to its limit and even tried out its safety features.

For the first test, we experienced the workings of the AEB system whereby a certified instructor drove below 30km/hr around the stadium.

When the car detects an impending collision, it would give out a warning, and if the driver does not respond in time, the car takes over and brakes automatically.

Moreover, our next activity involved covering all windows of the X70 with black cloth – an activity dubbed the “Bird Box” test.

The new Proton X70 unveiled at its launching at The Empire Hotel & Country Club on 27/07/19. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

For the challenge, our instructor demonstrated the use of the 360-degree camera and navigated around the cones that were laid out very tightly to further exhibit the handling capabilities by just looking from the screen.

Overall, the X70 performed flawlessly with both the automatic emergency braking and camera.

During our drive back from Miri, we were greeted with heavy rain towards the end of our drive which offered us the opportunity to truly test the car’s capabilities.

The Proton X70 is firmly planted on the road with quite a strong grip, making our drive home smooth and confident.

The new Proton X70 unveiled at its launching at The Empire Hotel & Country Club on 27/07/19. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

UNVEILING OF THE X70; BRUNEI AS FIRST INTERNATIONAL MARKET

Days after the one-day trip, the Proton distributor in Brunei unveiled its first-ever SUV to some 700 people at the Indera Samudra Grand Hall at The Empire Hotel and Country Club.

Proton first started selling cars in Brunei in 1987, making it one of the first export markets for the company.

This year, Brunei is the first outside Malaysia to receive the all-new Proton X70.

Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Proton Dato Radzaif Mohamed said that Brunei signals the beginning of Proton’s effort to sell its new line of jointly-developed models with Geely beyond Malaysian borders.

“Having a product like Proton X70 is a great start for our rebranding efforts in Brunei, but that is only half of the battle. The commitment of PAD Motors, demonstrated by their investment in a new 4S outlet, is equally as important as it will enable them to deliver a premium level of service that matches the expectations of our customers,” he said.

The model is based on the facelifted version of the Geely Boyue. The SUV is the firstborn of the Proton and Geely partnership, making it a historical milestone for both companies.

During the event, Proton highlighted their engineering achievements and design features that makes the Proton X70 a truly premium SUV.

The X70 offers a compelling value proposition for customers who are looking for a five-seater, luxury SUVs.

The new Proton X70 unveiled at its launching at The Empire Hotel & Country Club on 27/07/19. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

It is packed with high-end refinement, supreme comfort, cutting-edge technology, and comes equipped with a turbocharged petrol engine, which imparts a more seamless driving experience and more comfortable ride.

Furthermore, the cabin easily matches those in entry-level luxury vehicles. As you slide inside the car, the X70 will surely entice you with sporting luxurious Nappa leather seat covers, high-quality materials throughout and classy satin metal details.

Under the hood, the SUV is powered by a 1.8-litre turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder petrol engine which offers 181hp at 5,500rpm and 285Nm torque from 1,700 to 4,400rpm.

Furthermore, its top-of-the-line technology that is designed to make your driving experience fun and effortless features autonomous emergency braking, tyre pressure monitoring system adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera, among others.

The highlighted feature also includes an AI-powered voice command “Hi Proton” that lets the driver or passengers set the infotainment system and other vehicle functions.

The all-new Proton is available in five fresh exterior colours from the striking Flame Red, Snow White, Armour Silver, Jet Grey and Cinnamon Brow and is priced from $32,500 – $39,000.

Launching the Proton X70 was the Malaysian High Commissioner to Brunei His Excellency Ismal Hj Salam, Chairman of PAD Motors Tan Kah Boon and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Proton Dato Radzaif Mohammed and Managing Director of PAD Motors Hambali Pehin Dato Hj Mohd.

Visit the Proton showroom at PAD Motors in Beribi to book a test drive or follow them on Instagram @padmotors.proton for further information.

Azrina Zin
MIRI, SARAWAK

The Bruneian

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