Motoring News

Fresh from China: Will new 4×4 fit SA to a T?

CAPE TOWN, South Africa – BAIC South Africa has announced what it described as ”a rugged 4×4 off-roader SUV, the B40 Plus” to be assembled at a plant in South Africa’s former Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape.

The plant, covering 10 000ha hopes to assemble as many as 50 000 vehicles for the African market and export by the end of 2022 but is already running late with development of its plant in the former Port Elizabeth’s special Chinese reserve industrial area.

HOW BAIC IS ALREADY RUNNING LATE ON PRODUCTION

Mr Hu, president of marketing operations for BAIC SA, told The Corner in a media release: “BAIC SA is proud to add the B40 Plus to the model line-up. We believe it will find followers among people who want to stand out in a crowd.

”Our goal is to provide a wide range of quality products to suit lifestyles and requirements.”

Image: Supplied

The B40 Plus, The Corner was told, has its roots in the Chinese military with more than 60 years of heritage with ”testing in almost every condition, altitude, terrain, and application – born on the battlefield and perfected in the real world”.

The front of the B40 claims to be ”striking” with a five-slot grille and chromed and black accents on the body. A vertical windscreen, large external mirrors, and high seating are said ”to provide great all-round visibility” and the tail has a red towball.

Image: Supplied

The cabin claims to be modern and have all appointments needed by an SUV: aircon, six-speaker audio, chromed accents, and reclining rear seats. There are also a reversing camera, parking radar, and a ”customisable” information display.

Image: Supplied

Marketing boss Basil Costa told The Corner: “The B40 is more than capable off-road. Testing included high air temperatures, high altitude, high humidity, low cold, salty air, and drought.

DOUBLE WISHBONES

“I look forward to seeing the B40 Plus taking over South African roads and believe the market will be pleasantly surprised by how much vehicle they are getting.”

The independent front suspension employs double wishbones/coil springs, rear five-link/coil spring non-independent suspension. Overhangs are said to be minimal, ground clearance 210mm, approach angle 37 degrees, departure 31 degrees, ramp-over 23 degrees.

YOUR CHOICE – PETROL OR DIESEL?

Also standard are ABS, EBD, electric parking brake; more expensive versions add electronic stability, emergency braking, traction control, and hill ascent/descent control.

The shell contains a rollover protection framework said to be strong enough to handle a 50-metre hillside roll.

There’s a choice of two-litre petrol or diesel engine – each turbocharged – with the former promising 160kW @ 5500rpm; the alternative diesel is said to max at 110kW @ 4000rpm and 350Nm from 1800-2800rpm.

AVAILABLE MODELS

  • B40 Plus diesel
  • B40 Plus petrol
  • B40 Plus City Hunter diesel
  • B40 Plus City Hunter petrol
  • B40 Plus Champion petrol

Interested? Then choose from these colours… white, black, red, two shades of green, and two of blue.

Prices range from R549 500 to R629 500, each delivered with a five-year or 120 000km* warranty. Service intervals are 15 000km or 12 months* for both both engines. Competitive service plan options are available.

*Whichever comes first.

Image: Supplied

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