Eye to eye with the Beijing Auto B40 on the Beijing Tuning Street
Published on October 17, 2013 by Tycho de Feijter
A surprising encounter on the Beijing Tuning Street in the east of the Capital. In a remote area on the north side of the street I met two brand new but unfinished examples of the upcoming (or is it?) Beijing Auto B40. A green and a red car where standing in front of a tuning shop with three men doing all sorts of work on the interior of the green B40. Mystified by the appearance of the vehicles I started asking questions…
… but I didn’t get any answers, at all. The three men clearly didn’t like me snooping around and a few minutes after I shot these shots they actually pushed the cars inside their shop and locked the door. I then asked in other shops and learned that the B40’s were prepped for an auto show. It is quite normal that car companies ask specialized shops to dress up vehicles for major events; with shiny wheels and such. The next major show in China is the Guangzhou Auto Show in late November. Let’s see…
No markings on the bonnet or at the back, but they forgot to hide the Beijing Auto logo on the alloys and on the steering wheel.
Earlier this week we heard that the Beijing Auto B40 will finally hit the Chinese car market on December 28, after much delay and misery. However, Beijing Auto hasn’t officially confirmed this yet. The B40 first appeared as a concept in 2010, it was on each auto show after that and it never changed very much. We know for a fact small-batch production started in September 2012, but then stalled again. The various delays likely had to do with the fact that BAIC, the mother of Beijing Auto, couldn’t decide on the engine.
Here she is…
Over the years we have heard all kinds of fantastic stories about the engines, ranging from ancient 2.4 liter four-cylinders to newly developed 1.8 turbocharged engines to Saab 2.0 turbo, and back all over again. The latest reports indicate the final-final-final production version of the Beijing Auto B40 will be powered by the… ancient 2.4! Output currently stands at 143hp and 217nm, mated to a 5-speed manual transmission.
Note door. Dash pretty much the same as it was in 2010.Dials cool. Rev counter red line to 5500 rpm. This B40 is not a screamer. But it is a serious off road capable car with a low-high gearing selector, working is tandem with a five-speed manual.
The red car being pushed inside, bonnet down. Man in gray overalls was very angry, so I walked away.