Chinese automaker BAIC has confirmed it plans to launch the B40 Plus in South Africa in the first quarter of 2020.
The firm made the announcement at the Festival of Motoring in Johannesburg.
Interestingly, SA will be the first market in the world to offer the B40 Plus (badged as the "BJ40" in some parts) in right-hand drive configuration, which BAIC says demonstrates “the importance of the region” for the brand.
Clearly drawing inspiration from the Jeep Wrangler, the B40 Plus is offered in four-door guise with wide fenders, a tailgate-mounted spare wheel, red-painted tow hooks and all-terrain tyres. As with the Wrangler, the windscreen can be folded forward and the rear roof section is removable to enable open-air driving.
Billed as a “go-anywhere SUV” with a body-on-frame design, the B40 Plus features a selectable four-wheel-drive system with an electronically activated low-range transfer case as well as a rear differential lock.
The SUV employs a double-wishbone suspension arrangement up front and a five-link rigid axle setup at the rear. Ground clearance comes in at 220 mm while the breakover angle is quoted as 23 degrees, the approach angle as 37 degrees and the departure angle as 31 degrees.
Engine options for South Africa are expected to include turbocharged 2,0-litre petrol and diesel units, paired with wither a five-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic transmission.
Inside, you’ll find a 10-inch touchscreen and a digital 12,3-inch instrument cluster with three configurable themes. BAIC says “more detailed” specifications and pricing will be announced closer to the launch in 2020.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.