Beijing Auto Works is a brand from BAIC, Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation. ‘Beijing Auto’ is another brand from BAIC, they bought the old Saabs and make the Benz B-copy. These names are confusing indeed and so most Chinese just call the company with all of its products and brands simply ‘BeiQi’, an abbreviation of Beijing Qiche which means Beijing Auto.
The BAW Qishi S12 is a continuation of the Beijing-Jeep Cherokee. BAIC and Jeep (first AMC, later Chrysler) had a joint venture called Beijing-Jeep that made the Cherokee for the Chinese market, it started in 1984 and was killed in 2009.
BAIC kept the tooling and the rights to make the now ancient Cherokee for those few eager buyers in China. The name changed from ‘Cherokee’ to Qishi, meaning ‘knight’ and now there is the updated Qishi S12.
The new Qishi S12 costs between 78.800 and 93.800 yuan, that is between 11.940 and 14.200 US dollar. Not much for such a big car! That is 4300x1790x1700, wheelbase is 2576. Engines: 2.0 with 122hp and 2.2 with 141hp. Both engines mated to a five-speed manual. Driveline either 4×2 or 4×4.
The old Beijing-Jeep Cherokee got American engines; the 2.5 four and the 4.0 six. I got a 1998 2.5 4×2 myself, great car and the engine spins like a little baby kitten.
See the old BAW 212 on the right in the background. Yep, they still make those as well, cost around 5000 dollar for a brand new one but even the Chinese army ain’t buying them anymore. Characters on S12’s plate mean xin Qishi, new Knight, a new car it is indeed.
Wiper for the rear windscreen, my car doesn’t have one.
Interior much improved, now with a cd-player and cupholders.
This is a 2.2 4×4.
The 2.2 four.
Party! Pic of the first Beijing-Jeep Cherokee’s running of the line back in ’84.
My very own 1998 ‘City Special’. Bull bar, side steps and red leather seats are after market, done after I bought it from a friend for 5000 dollar with only 50.000 km on the clock, its got 75.000 now. Tires are new too, just the second set, and I changed the cassette deck for a fake Sony CD-player.
The previous Qishi.
The very last version of the Beijing-Jeep, called ‘Jeep 2500’, made until 2008.
They made this one for awhile alongside the 2500; the 2700 got 200cc more. Buyers didn’t see the point and the 2700 was soon killed, only the 2500 stayed until the end, the V6 by that time long gone… But the great Cherokee fortunately still stays with us.