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Johannesburg - Chinese carmaker BAIC has confirmed that its new B40 Plus SUV is heading to South Africa during the first quarter of 2020.

Currently on display at the Festival of Motoring at Kyalami, the B40 is a rugged SUV with styling that was clearly inspired by the Jeep Wrangler.

It doesn’t just look tough though - beneath the surface is a rugged ladder frame chassis, and the B40 also comes with all the hardware you’ll need to tackle rough off-road trails, including a selectable four-wheel-drive system with a low-range transfer case and rear diff lock. BAIC quotes a ground clearance of 220mm, while approach and departure angles are listed as 37 and 31 degrees respectively.

As with the Jeep Wrangler, the B40’s windscreen can be folded forward, and the rear roof section is removable so you can enjoy those game drives in the open air.

South African buyers will be able to choose between a petrol and a diesel engine, both 2-litre units with turbocharging, and mated to either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. 

Suspension comes in the form of a double wishbone set-up at the front and a five link rigid axle at the back and the vehicle rolls on 17-inch wheels.

Inside, the B40 is fitted with a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system as well as a fully digital instrument cluster with three configurable themes: Trek, Speed and Classic.

Pricing and other specification details for the B40 will be released nearer to launch, BAIC tells us.

The D20 will join the X25 compact vehicles that recently went into production near Port Elizabeth as part of an R11 billion investment made by the Beijing Automotive Industrial Corporation.

IOL Motoring