Beijing Shenbao D-Series is Out in China
Published on April 4, 2013 by Tycho de Feijter
This is, finally, the final-final final production version of the Beijing Auto Shenbao D-Series, formerly known as the Beijing Auto C70G. The production version of the Shenbao D-Series will debut on the Shanghai Auto Show later this month and it will be launched on the Chinese car market on May 11. Price will range from 165.800 yuan to 235.800 yuan.
The Beijing Auto Shenbao D-Series is the final (etc etc) production version of the BAW C71 that debuted on the 2010 Beijing Auto Show, it then returned as the Beijing Auto C70G on he 2012 Beijing Auto Show. The Shanbao name popped up in May last year, followed by spy shots of a Shenbao D280 , followed by the debut of the Shenbao D320 on the Guangzhou Auto Show in November last year.
The Shenbao D-series is based on the old Saab 9-5. Beijing Auto Industry Corporation (BAIC), the parent company of Beijing Auto, bought the rights to the old Saab 9-5 and Saab 9-3 from General Motors in 2009, including the rights to the Saab 2.0 turbo and 2.3 turbo engines. Shenbao (绅宝) is the old Chinese name for Swedish Saab, which for unknown reasons changed to a new Chinese name ( Sabo (萨博)) in the late 1990′s. Beijing Auto so has the car and the original Chinese name.
Interior is completely redesigned with a rather cool center console. Beijing Auto is especially proud of the area around the gear lever, which indeed loox very tech.
There will be three engines available: Beijing Auto’s own 1.8 turbo and the Saab-developed 2.0 turbo and 2.3 turbo. Specs of the 1.8 are yet unknown, the 2.0 turbo poops out 200hp and 290nm, and the 2.3 turbo 250hp and 350nm. Only transmission is a paddle-shifted 5-speed tiptronic, which is an oldie from Saab as well.
Size: 4861/1820/1462, wheelbase is 2755. Front Suspension: McPherson independent suspension. Rear Suspension: Multi-link independent suspension.
Rather traditional here where something more digital could have been expected.
Very kinky gear knob, with Beijing Auto logo. Start button in the center, likely referring to the location of the keyhole in old Saabs.
Sporty red stitching on sporty black seats.
More space than there was ever available in the 9-5, but front seats are far up front and bench in the back is China-short. Not too many luxuries here, the top-spec variants will likely come with flat screens and tray tables.
The 2.0 Turbo. The engine series is called ‘T-Power’, which sounds very 1980’s.
A good looking car for a good price, the Shenbao D-Series is for example cheaper than the China-made BMW 3-Series, which starts at 258.800 yuan. But Chinese car buyers are very well aware of the Shenbao’s ancient underpinnings and engines, which will no doubt influence sales a lot. but again, it is good to see some Saab DNA back on the road!
Pictures via: Sohu.