By now, I hope you’ve learn our assessment of the brand new Proton S70 sedan – in the event you haven’t, you are able to do so right here – and it’s secure to say the automobile has earned Gerard’s seal of approval. However there’s a lingering query because the nationwide carmaker continues to lean on its C-segment-sedan-at-B-segment-prices messaging, and that’s using a comparatively rudimentary torsion beam for its rear suspension.
You see, the road between the B- and C-segments is fairly blur because it stands, specific as automobiles within the former camp develop in each dimension and class. The important thing delineation has all the time been the rear suspension, with the bigger automobile tending to utilize an unbiased multilink setup – most notably the native gross sales leaders, the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.
So why doesn’t the so-called “C-segment” S70 have it? In keeping with common supervisor of product advertising and marketing Gary Yap on the S70 media drive Q&A session, the reply is as all the time right down to price. “If the bottom automobile [uses a] torsion beam, and we alter it on account of a market request, is there any further quantity or value premium we will get, as a result of we’ve got to speculate some cash to vary the physique? Unhappy to say, that is all the time the query,” he stated.
Yap was fast to reward the corporate’s prowess in trip and dealing with tuning – this, and never the essential suspension structure, is what he believes will make the distinction in the best way the S70 drives. “From the parameters supplied by the bottom automobile, it did meet our necessities and we didn’t see any must [change the suspension].”
Yap additionally factors to the Mazda 3 as one other exception within the C-segment that makes use of torsion beam rear suspension (to not point out base fashions of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, which is in a distinct value bracket totally). Many will draw parallels to the X90 SUV that makes use of a multilink setup not present in China, however Yap stated that automobile’s increased D-segment positioning made the change vital.
The S70’s pricing – which begins at beneath RM75,000 and doesn’t exceed the essential RM100,000 mark – makes it a completely completely different proposition for purchasers, and Yap stated consumers on this value vary place much less of an significance on the suspension structure. “Ask any buyer, “for this value, under RM100,000, torsion beam, will you settle for it?” The vast majority of clients truly don’t actually care what the rear suspension is. Can transfer, can already.”
Deputy CEO Roslan Abdullah chimed in, saying that whereas China’s comparatively good highway high quality meant the torsion beam on Geely’s X90 equal, the Haoyue, offers a suitable trip over there, Malaysian roads include some “particular distinctive options” (suppose potholes and different floor irregularities). This, along with the X90’s increased positioning, justified the adoption of a multilink rear setup.
“However relating to the S70, there’s a large query mark. What’s the distinction [in ride quality] if we alter [the suspension]? If we alter, that may contain larger price, as a result of in China tak ada.”
A proven fact that most individuals don’t realise is that the Haoyue is already supplied with multilinks in markets exterior China (resembling within the Philippines), the place it’s badged because the Okavango. There’s no such possibility for the S70 equal – the Emgrand – wherever on the planet, so speccing multilinks would’ve required Proton to go at it alone (and incur enormous improvement prices within the course of). Don’t overlook, Proton already undertook the engineering process of turbocharging the S70 and giving it ADAS options, which absolutely wasn’t low cost.
In any case, we discovered that the S70 offers an excellent trip despite the torsion beam setup, one which’s greater than able to dealing with the “distinctive” challenges Malaysian roads throw at it. The shortage of sophistication means the automobile isn’t additionally in a position to ship the sporty driving really feel one would anticipate from a Proton, however given its meant positioning, that’s hardly an awesome loss.
GALLERY: 2024 Proton S70 1.5T Flagship X
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