A sunny early-spring afternoon here in Beijing, time for some China car history. This interesting SUV is the Beijing Auto Works BJ2032 Tornado (北京BJ2032旋风), based on the Beijing 2024 which in itself was based on the Beijing 2020 which was again based on the ancient Beijing 212.
The BJ 2032 was originally developed for the army but rejected, Beijing Auto Works therefore turned it into a civilian vehicle which became the BJ2032 Tornado. Design-wise it was inspired by the period Mitsubishi Pajero but Mitsubishi did have nothing to do with it.
The bodywork was designed by BAW and fitted on the relatively small 2024, the platform had to be stretched and widened. Fortunately the platform had proven very flexible which BAW knew as know other, good as they were in making the strangest vehicles on it…
The Tornado, great name for a car!, was made from 2002 until 2004 and priced from 61.800 yuan until 80.000 yuan. Power came, just as in 2020, from a GM-sourced 2.2 liter four cylinder that pooped out 66kw and 165nm. The engine was made in China. Drive-line: 4×4. Size of the BJ2032 Tornado: 4880/1830/1800, wheelbase was 2750.
Bull-bar was a factory extra.
Even though is was made for just three years Beijing auto works managed to get a ‘second generation’ (二代) ready by early 2003. The BJ2023 got a new standard paint-job, with a horse on each side, and a slightly updated interior.
These days the BJ2032 Tornado is a very rare car. Some are still driving around in the provinces but in the big cities they are just gone, mostly because of new regulations forbidding vehicles with old polluting engines to enter the city. I have never seen any Tornado in a museum so I sadly have to assume they were all scrapped.
A very fine first-gen example.