BAIC SOUTH Africa launched its latest model BAIC B40 Plus this week at Haartebeespoort- that borders GP and NW, thanks to the hills and mountains that bring serendipity to yours truly.
Inspired by Great Wall of China, the BAIC pronounced ‘bike’ is bold and imposing with aggressive bumpers and wheel arches. The front of the B40 Plus is striking, with the 5-slot grille design.
The cabin is modern and sleek, exactly what is needed in every SUV, from dual zone air-conditioning, six-speaker audio system, colour-coded interior trim, chrome accents and reclining rear seats.
There are also features such as the reverse camera, Park Distance Control (PDC) and customisable Multi-Information Display (MID).
It comes standard with ABS, EBD and Electronic Parking Brake, while some models also feature Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Traction Control System (TCS), Hill Ascent Control (HAC) and Hill Descent Control (HAC).
One would compare the B40 to a Jeep Wrangler- since they boast similar features as the Chinese model has been designed for the Chinese army.
It has the removable roof that has individual panels over the driver and passenger and the remainder over the rear passengers. Each can be removed singly or together.
The front suspension is a double wishbone/coil spring independent suspension while the rear suspension is a 5-link/coil spring non-independent suspension.
The overhangs are minimal and combined with a ground clearance of 210 mm, it results in an approach angle of 37 degrees, departure angle of 31 degrees and rampover angle of 23 degrees.
The selectable 4WD system with mechanical central transfer case and rear differential lock allows driver control over how the engine is powered, dependent on the terrain, conditions and requirements.
The B40 Plus is available in 2.0-litre petrol turbo or 2.0-litre turbo diesel. The petrol engine kicks out 160kW at 5500 r/min while the diesel pushes out 110kW at 4000 r/min and 350Nm of torque between 1800 r/min and 2800 r/min.
BAIC has been in SA since 2016 and has its own assembly facility in the Eastern Cape, and although the B40 Plus is fully imported from China, the plant is slowly ramping up to its full production capacity of 50 000 vehicles with CKD (completely knocked down) assembly coming next year when it will also start to supply both left and right hand drive cars to the Sub-Saharan market.
Mr Hu, Vice President of Marketing Operations for BAIC South Africa says: “BAIC SA is proud to add the B40 Plus to the model line-up. We believe this vehicle will be well received by the market and will find quite a following amongst consumers that want to stand out in a crowd.
“We are committed to the people of South Africa. We are actively working to improve the standard of the local automotive manufacturing industry, whilst creating more local employment opportunities. Our goal is to provide South Africans with a wide range of quality products to suit various lifestyles and requirements.”
BAIC SA has eight dealers around the country with a number of contract service centres.
The BAIC B40 Plus retails from R549 500 to R629 500
All B40 Plus models are sold with a 5-year/120 000 km warranty and service plan options are available. Service intervals are 15 000 km/12 months for both the petrol and Diesel models.
Image (The all new BAIC B40 Plus has been unveiled in SA).