The rugged off-roader is coming for the rival Tank 300 with a modern exterior, a tech-filled interior and a more powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter engine
BAIC published official photos of the second-gen BJ40, a body-on-frame ICE-powered compact SUV designed as a direct competitor to the popular Tank 300.
While the original BAIC BJ40 that debuted in 2013 looked like a Jeep Wrangler ripoff with a Range Rover face, the new generation adopts a more modern styling approach, inspired by the larger three-row BJ60. Obviously, there are still a few references to off-roaders by other automakers but those are a lot more discreet. Another big change is the fact that the new generation has a single bodystyle, unlike the previous model that came in two-door, four-door, and pickup variants.
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The new face combines boxy LEDs with an illuminated three-piece grille and a rugged off-road bumper. The heavy dose of plastic cladding, all-terrain tires, and generous ground clearance make it clear that this is not your typical road-focused SUV, as with the boxy proportions. The same applies to the full-size spare wheel that is mounted on the flat tailgate, reminiscent of classic off-roaders.
Inside, the BJ40 represents a significant step up in terms of design and technology. The dashboard combines a digital instrument cluster with a large panel housing the central infotainment screen and another one for the front passenger. Other highlights include the analog clock between the climate vents, the aluminum-style trim around the dashboard, and the wide center tunnel housing a rotating dial for the 4WD system.
BAIC didn’t reveal the specs of the new BJ40 but we already know them thanks to China’s Ministry of Industry and Technology Information. The SUV measures 4,790 mm (188.6 inches) long, 1,940 mm (76.4 inches) wide, and 1,895 mm (74.6 inches) tall, with a wheelbase of 2,760 mm (108.7 inches). This means it is 160 mm (6.3 inches) longer than the five-door variant of the previous generation and incrementally longer than a Jeep Wrangler.
The same source reveals that the BJ40 comes fitted with a turbocharged 2.0-liter petrol engine producing 241 hp (180 kW / 245 PS) and 385 Nm (284 lb-ft) of torque. Those specs make it significantly more powerful compared to its predecessor, surpassing the rival Tank 300 at least on paper. Power is transmitted to all four wheels exclusively through an 8-speed automatic gearbox with the help of a 4WD system.
Pre-sales of the BAIC BJ40 in China will start on August 25, when the SUV makes its public premiere at the Chengdu Auto Show. Pricing has yet to be announced but Car News China expects it to be somewhere between the ¥200,000-300,000 ($28,000-41,600) range. It remains to be seen if the new BAIC BJ40 will follow the example of its predecessor and be sold to export markets like Italy under the Ickx brand.