Over in China, the slightly more upmarket variant of the Geely Binyue, called the Binyue Pro, has been given a design refresh for the 2022 model year, could we see this trickle down to the Proton X50? The Proton X50 MC1 perhaps? The Geely Binyue Pro version represents the highest tier of trim and cosmetic package available for the B-segment SUV.
The recent ‘facelift’, though quite mild, does add some new touches to what is still a very recent design, even to those observing from the Chinese market. However, some of these cosmetic and equipment updates will likely be trickled down into the standard Binyue variants, and perhaps eventually into the X50.
Up front, replacing the typical Geely-style grille and logo surround, the Binyue Pro opts for a sportier black honeycomb mesh and within that, two contrastingly coloured hexagons.
In the fascia’s midsection, there’s a pronounced ‘X’ shaped matte black cladding material to contrast against the rest of the bumper which, in addition to the wider side intakes, gives it a more aggressive look. Despite this, the redesigned single piece front lip does give the new Binyue Pro a cleaner, more cohesive look compared to the older design’s two-tier approach.
Ignoring the (presumably optional) bodykit with its side skirts, rear ‘diffuser’, and roof spoiler on this bright yellow showcase model, the rest of the vehicle doesn’t seem to have undergone any alteration at all, remaining identical to the original Binyue of 2018 and, consequently, the Proton X50. There’s a couple of new machine-finished wheel designs too, both in 18-inches, with one finished in a more plain silver with 10 spokes and the other in gloss black with 15 spokes.
Stepping inside, there’s yet more familiarity to be enjoyed as the basic layout of the Binyue has been left fully intact. It’s only when inspecting the details that you’ll notice the larger 12.3-inch infotainment panel (up from 10.25-inches) and stubbier gear shift knob with a larger palm rest, both of which stand a decent chance of appearing in future Protons.
Elsewhere, the Binyue Pro facelift has been given two-tone highlights throughout its interior trim, evidenced by the contrasting yellow on the steering wheel, door trim, dashboard, leather seats, and centre arm rest. Curiously, the word ‘Battle’ has been embossed into the upholstery for some reason.
Supposedly the new new accents added to the trim panels are semi-translucent in order to project a selection of 72 colours for the new ambient interior lightning, so you can have your new Geely go full RGB like the inside of a gaming PC. The illuminators can also be set up to match the driving mode, vehicle speed, and most outrageously, to the music currently being played.
There’s isn’t any accompanying specifications relating to its powertrain, but also no reason to suspect any divergences from the standard 2021 Binyue either, which is currently powered by either a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol (JLB-4G14T) with 141PS and 235Nm or a (JLH-3G15TD) 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol with 180PS and 255Nm, just like the range-topping X50.
Speaking of which, if you’re a fan of the visual updates and extra personalisation given to the Binyue Pro, the only way that you’ll see them come to Malaysia is if Proton goes down the route of expanding the X50 Flagship to include optional cosmetic packages; ones that give the small SUV some unique design flourishes inside and out. Make some noise and they might hear you out.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.