New Spy Shots of the Beijing Auto BJ90, seen with a many in the factory, looking completely ready. The BJ90 is the new flagship SUV for the Beijing Auto brand, it debuted in concept form back in 2010. The production car will have its debut on the Beijing Auto Show next month and launch on the Chinese car market in the second half of the year.
The Beijing Auto BJ90 is based, down until the alloys, on the X166 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class. Beijing Auto can use the GL under a technology-transfer agreement with Mercedes-Benz, in the same way as the upcoming Senova C90L sedan will be based on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class L.
The relationship isn’t always very smooth however; Daimler-Benz is reportedly still very pissed off about the Beijing Auto BJ80, a G-Class clone that was developed without any permission or support of the Germans.
The Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is presently sold in China as an import with price ranging from 1.03 million yuan to 1.52 million yuan, but the new GLS is on the way and will arrive in Q1 2016. Price for the BJ90 will start around 800.000 yuan or 125.000 USD.
The Beijing Auto BJ90 will be manufactured by Beijing Auto Works, just like the Beijing Auto BJ40. It will be sold via the Beijing Auto dealer network, alongside the Senova range. It is by far the largest passenger car Beijing Auto has ever made.
A big chromed grille and angry headlights, this Beijing looks the business.
The drivetrain of the BJ90 is completely Mercedes; it will be available with two engines: a 3.0 twin-turbo V6 with 333hp and 480nm (GL400), and a 4.0 twin-turbo V8 with 421hp and 600nm (GL500). Transmission is the MB seven-speed automatic, sending power to all four wheels via the MB 4matic four-wheel drive system.
The Beijing Auto BJ90 will compete directly with the upcoming Hongqi LS5 SUV, which will be powered by a 4.0 twin-turbo V8 with 381hp and 530nm, mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
The interior too is taken from Mercedes. Beijing Auto only changed the steering wheel and the layout of the center stack to fit a bigger screen. The center tunnel, the instrument panel, the upholstery, and even the seats were all left unchanged.
The BJ90 is really just a re-bodied car, and not a new based on an existing platform. Case in point:
A zillion brand new GL’s, seen on a parking lot of the Beijing Auto factory.
And here we have a test car with the Beijing Auto badge on the Mercedes-Benz alloys, and…
… this actually is a real GL, with the…
… GL interior. Guess they didn’t re-body that one yet!
Trendy tail lights, small with the fashion, and connected with a fat chrome strip topped by the Beijing badge. Lower bumper in chrome too, with the pipes integrated.