Geely Starray Launched In Saudi Arabia, Possible Proton X80?

The Geely Boyue L that recently landed in Saudi Arabia could work as a Proton X80 in Malaysia. 

A year on from its local launch in China, Geely has recently unveiled its Boyue L over in Saudi Arabia. 

Newly christened as the Starray over there, this new sharply-styled Chinese SUV sits neatly in the Saudi Arabian Geely lineup between the Azkarra and Monjaro, which is in essence the Proton X70 and X90. So with this in mind, let’s take a closer look what could potentially be the next Proton X80. 

Starting very basically first with the size of this new Geely SUV, the Starray measures in at 4,670 mm long, 1,900 mm wide and 1,705 mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,777 mm. Dimensions that are incidentally just slightly larger than the Proton X70, which comes in at 4,519 mm long, 1,831 mm wide and 1,694 mm tall.

Much larger though with the Starray relative to the X70 is the exterior design flourishes that Geely has implemented on it, as part of its Vision Starburst design direction. This new SUV for instance features an almost Cadillac-esque face, that comes courtesy of what the Chinese automaker dubs its Lightwave Ripple Front Grille and industry-first super thin Particle Ray Headlights. 

Said front end is further accentuated too by Stars-aligned Daytime Running Lights and illuminated Geely badge, which according to its maker ‘mimic the astronomical wonders and completes the astronomical presence of the facade’. And just to complete the whole exterior package, the Starray also apparently features a Galactic Tide Waistline and 20-inch Galactic alloy wheels which flows from both sides to the rear and eventually connects to the (admittedly Hyundai Bayon-esque) Flying Arrow full-width taillight with Automatic Approach & Departure Lighting.

Moving inside meanwhile, the Starray continues its futuristic chic theme with a Mercedes-esque 13.2-inch floating central infotainment screen that headlines a dashboard that features integrated wrap-around ambient lighting with music sync and a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster. Other cool cabin highlights within this Geely SUV includes the usual crop of active driver aids, ventilated front seats, a 9 speaker HARMAN Infinity Deluxe Sound System with speakers built-into its front seat headrests, a Volvo-style diamond-cut crystal gear selector as well as Interstellar Shades (which are in essence translucent front sun visors). 

Underneath all that fancy exterior design and cool cabin however is funnily enough what underpins the Geely-Proton X90 and upcoming S70, as the Starray sits upon the ubiquitous Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform. So it could therefore stand to reason then that should not too big of an engineering stretch if a local version were to be co-opted in the future. 

Though if the Starray does indeed come to be the new X80, it would be likely that Proton will be fitting its usual 1.5-litre turbocharged three-pot in it instead of the 2.0-litre Drive-E turbo petrol as found in this SUV over in Saudi Arabia. Outputting 218 hp and 325 Nm of torque, this boosted four-pot that drives the front wheels via a 7-speed dual clutch transmission is apparently capable of hustling this Geely to the century mark in 8.2 seconds and onwards to 215 km/h. 

What more too is that Geely also touts for this particular powertrain combination to return a NEDC-claimed fuel consumption figure of 6.7 L/100 km, which is actually slightly better than 7.4 L/100 km figure Proton claims for the current three-pot mill in the X70. Those however who want the ultimate fuel-sipper should hope that the Malaysian X80 will get the plug-in hybrid option offered only in China thus far, which features a supercharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder that is then mated to two integrated electric motors and a three-speed dedicated hybrid transmission (DHT). 

The Geely Starray is currently on sale in Saudi Arabia with a choice of three variants, with prices ranging from SAR 94,185 (RM 119,000) to SAR 112,585 (RM 142,000). Figures that are perfectly decent if Proton ever decides to rebadge this over here as the X80, but the keyword there is unfortunately ‘if’ and not ‘when’, as it is highly unlikely for the Malaysian automaker to be launching an upmarket SUV relative to something more marketable any time soon…

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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