Jeep Wrangler fans – Let us hear your thoughts on the new BJ40 from Beijing.
Look past the slightly yellow name and upon the 120,000RMB body on frame SUV that has been in development for the past few years with many, many false starts. Power comes from a Mitsubishi sourced 2.4L naturally aspirated vehicle despite Beijing owning the 2.0T and 2.3T engines from Saab, the good news is that there is a 5 speed manual rather than a slushbox to send power to the wheels which will make for good power control.
Measuring in at 4350*1843*1837 (LxWxH) the BJ40 is obviously on par with the 3 door Wrangler and has a wheelbase of 2450mm, putting it right in the same region yet again. The Wrangler measures in at 4223 x 1873 x 1840mm, with a wheelbase of 2424mm. The Wrangler has a slightly better ground clearence of 220mm compared to the BJ40′s 210mm.
Like the Wrangler, the BJ40 is basically a toy car that can be taken to pieces. The roof, doors, windshield etc can all be pulled apart with an allen key and a few hours of time (and probably two sets of hands). The BJ40 also has some relatively cool points such as the air vents being removable so passengers can stick a drink in there to keep it cool or hot, but obviously not a Starbucks cup as drinks can only be stored horizontally. With the roof being removable as well as the doors, Beijing Auto chose to put the speakers in the T-Bar across the roof which is also a fairly cool feature.
On to that 2.4L Mitsubishi engine. In other vehicles we have tested that carry that smokey block we have found it to be somewhat gutless, but in the BJ40 Beijing Auto have done some tuning magic so the four cylinder produces 80% of its power extremely low down at 1200RPM.
Chinese media have spent the last couple of days test driving the BJ40 in Lhasa, Tibet, with only favorable things to say, pricing hasn’t been officially revealed but the BJ40 is thought to start at around 130,000RMB (just under 22,000USD) which is a pretty good deal in China, considering the Wrangler is more like 450,000RMB for the baby 3.6L version.