Beijing Auto’s Wrangler inspired SUV has finally hit the market after a three year delay in which Beijing Auto played the longest game of ‘Will they, wont they?‘ with regards to getting the handsome SUV out into the market.
The BJ40 was first announced in late 2009 and aired in 2010 at the Shanghai Auto Show where it wowed both the media and the public at large. Over the past few weeks the BJ40 was rumored to be launching with a 200,000RMB price tag which was considered extremely steep for a Chinese branded two door SUV, instead Beijing has come back with a low cost price tag of 146,800RMB rising to 186,800RMB over a three model range.
Power comes from a 2.4L four cylinder naturally aspirated engine sending power to all four wheels via a 5speed manual gearbox. The four cylinder is good for 217N·m of torque, which will be enough for most light gravel roads but could find itself in danger fast in sandy or deep mud conditions.
Chinese media have already had their testing days with the model and came away saying it’s an equal competitor to the Jeep Wrangler, but lacking the larger torque figures. Price wise the BJ40 is considerably cheaper than the two door Wrangler 3.6L which starts at 445,000RMB ($73,000USD), making the BJ40′s 146,800RMB ($24,217USD) price tag seem like a bargain – until you realize over in the USA the Wrangler starts at just over $25,000USD anyway.
Future models will include a 2.7L petrol engine with a boosted 235N·m of torque going through a four speed auto to all four wheels. There is also a four door model on the way.