Proton X80 coupe crossover coming?

By CARSIFU | 22 February 2024

The Tugella scrambles to get to the top.

PETALING JAYA: With Malaysians gravitating towards cars that look sporty, it's only natural for a mass market carmaker to try to meet that need — and make some money along the way.

Rumours have been rife that Proton might just give Malaysians what it thinks they are looking for - a midsize SUV with a coupe styling to inject some excitement into the segment.

Yesterday's outline of future plans by Proton chief executive officer Dr Li Chunrong is likely to fuel such assumptions.

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What the Tugella dash looks like.

Proton has already trademarked the X80 name, so the probability of such a model emerging is there though some car makers have been known to keep a registered name on the backburner or let it lapsed eventually.

The idea of an X80 coupe SUV has been floating around for a number of years with one YouTube channel even taking the initiative to render its concept of an X80 in 2022.

The Geely partnership has done wonders for Proton's public standing and its bottom line, and it will continue to rely on its Chinese stakeholder for the base vehicle in its SUV line-up.

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Reports have surfaced that the Geely Tugella or more recently the Starray could be the borrowed car to base the X80 on, which would be slightly bigger than the X70.

The Tugella (also known as Xingyue in China)  is the first Geely car based on the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), a platform jointly developed by Volvo and Geely, and which is used by Volvo XC40 and Polestar 2 as well.

The Starray (or Boyue L) followed and is also a CMA-based product.

Starray and its interior (below).
Starray and its interior (below).

2024-02-22 00_31_02-GEELY STARRAY - Brave

The X80 engine could be shared with the 1.5-litre mills from the current X series. Or it could be a new-generation engine that's coming from Proton as revealed by its CEO yesterday, who said the new powerplant would offer a more competitive advantage in the market.

It remains to be seen what engine Geely/Proton will finally drop into the X80.

As for pricing, logic would dictate that it would be in between those of the X90 and X70, hence it is speculated that the price would hover between RM120,000 and RM150,000.

At present, these kind of prices are already expensive for a Proton but it would certainly be a bargain compared to those offered by BMW and Mercedes-Benz that are more than doubled.

The jacked-up coupe look would certainly be an emotional pull to lure prospective buyers into Proton showrooms if indeed the X80 makes it into production.