Viral Bumblebee Proton X50 gets custom widebody kit in Malaysia

In the 13 months since Lee got the keys to his Proton X50 1.5 TGDi Flagship, the SUV has changed its appearance thrice. Looks is one thing, but Lee – himself an avid track junkie – sought to wring out the most out of the X50, and he is sparing no expense.

The latest form is a little more in line with what he wished the X50 would look like from the factory – flared wheel fenders (by JWide Bodykits), and a slightly lower ride height. The latter is understating it, because his DWD 32-step adjustable suspension was set to the tallest settings (for daily driving).

Those gigantic wheels measure 21 inches in diameter, wrapped with low profile Continental ContiSport Contact 5P tyres. These are staggered, so the front wheels are fitted with 275/30 rubbers, and the rear measures 285/30. Lee did express some form of restraint during our exchanges, stating that the wheels were a tad oversized. The next time you see this car, it will sit on 20-inch hoops.

Braking setup remains unchanged – the front features a pair of 405 mm drilled and ventilated rotors taken from the Cadillac CTS-V, clamped by six-piston pink Brembo calipers. The rear rotors are slightly smaller at 380 mm (taken from a Porsche Cayenne), managed by four-piston clampers. The pink and yellow calipers pay tribute to the Bumblebee and Miltank guises of its past.

The new light grey wrap is perhaps another way for Lee to exercise restraint, though it’s quite a few shades away from the actual colour that he wants – Porsche’s Chalk, formerly known as Crayon. A full repaint is in order, he said. Other exterior modifications include front and rear LED sequential turn indicators, RGB-selectable LED daytime running lights, and slim black stripes on the bonnet.

There are reversions (or mod-delete) as well. The LED tailgate piece is gone, returning the Proton script back to its original place. Note that it no longer reads ‘POOR’, and this is despite racking up over RM100k of modification bills. Remember, to him, the X50 is just a toy, and he holds the record for the quickest X50 around Sepang International Circuit with a time of 2 minutes 47.94 seconds.

Part of the secret sauce are high-performance bushings, SuperCircuit chassis strengthening bars, and of course, more power. According to Lee, the 1.5 litre turbocharged three-potter now makes 203 PS and 330 Nm at the wheels when fed with RON100 fuel. That is a mighty increase over the factory tune of 177 PS and 255 Nm, achieved via a combination of an ECU remap and a catless aftermarket downpipe.

The Bluetooth-enabled exhaust system is no more, and is replaced instead with the stock system. Interestingly, the factory pipes have a diameter of 2.5 inches (from the manifold to the tips; good for 250 PS), which is far bigger than what’s commonly offered on mass-production passenger vehicles.

No changes were made to the turbocharger, though the new high-performance air filter does make the induction noise much more audible. A custom heat shield box for the filter is currently in the works, so pardon the half-finished look.

Based on our brief testing, the engine felt much more responsive even in Normal mode, and all this was done without detriment. Much to Lee’s surprise, he said the car ran normally without springing so much as a fault code, even after a considerably stressful outing at Sepang where it did over two dozen laps, at full pelt!

Inside you’ll find swathes of genuine Italian Alcantara 9002, a custom carbon-fibre flat-bottomed steering wheel, a digital performance gauge, replica Recaro sport seats on custom rails, fibre optic ambient lighting system, as well as a brand new sound system with custom-mounted high-range tweeters, a subwoofer and a digital signal processor. All four doors are insulated with three layers of sound-deadening mats.

Despite the lengthy list of mods, Lee said the car still remains a work-in-progress. He won’t be tracking the car anytime soon, unless someone comes along and breaks his Sepang lap record. Apparently, RaceChip and FTuned are at least four seconds behind. But if he were to show up at the next outing, his personal target to beat is 2 minutes 42 seconds. You may follow his endless progress, here.

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