By Hasan Saeed & Waleed Shah
Off-road enthusiasts have always been a very small niche in Pakistan. Which is why there’s only ever been a few true off-roader launches in our country. However, it bears mentioning that the particular niche is quite loyal and bold in terms of their preferences. Looking to cash in on such factors is BAIC, a Chinese state-owned automaker.
BAIC has teased the introduction of its brand new Off-Road SUV, the BJ40 to the Pakistani Market. The BJ40 is a sub-compact off-road SUV that looks as if it is an end-result of a mix between the JL series Jeep Wrangler and the brand new Land Rover Defender.
The car will have two engine options, a 2.0 liter turbocharged 4 cylinder engine that makes 204 horsepower and 280 newton/meters of torque, and a 2.3 liter turbocharged 4 cylinder that makes 250 horsepower and 350 newton/meters of torque. Both power plants are mated to a 6-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission, with the 2.0-liter variant offering both 2WD and 4WD options and the 2.3 Liter variety offering a 4WD option only.
Pakistan is expected to get the 2.0-litre automatic variant of the BJ40.
The vehicle is offered as the BJ40 and the BJ40L, the former being the 3-door short wheelbase version and the latter being a 5 door long-wheelbase version.
Furthermore, the 2.0-liter variety comes in 2 trim levels, namely, the ‘Comfort’ and ‘Elite’. Whereas the 2.3 liter only comes in the long-wheelbase version with the luxury trim level. The L version is also said to have a few cosmetic differences such as larger tires and 17-inch alloy rims.
Details are still scarce about the features specs and price of the car. However, based on the brief glance, it seems like a fierce contender in the hardcore off-road segment. The launch of this car is not confirmed, but the company intends to launch it in Pakistan in late 2020 or early 2021 if there’s enough interest.
The vehicle is available for Rs. 2.8 million to Rs. 3.9 million in China. Despite the taxes and other costs, it should cost ever so slightly higher than its Chinese price considering BAIC’s approach so far.