The Good Old Beijing Auto Works BJ212 Is Alive And Kicking Again
Published on May 10, 2017 by Tycho de Feijter
Recently I suddenly saw a lot of brand new Beijing Auto Works BJ212 off-roaders on the road, and not only down countryside but also in the city proper. The BJ212 was effectively banned from town because it was too dirty, killing shops in the process. So what was going on? Time to find out…
Therefore I went to the one and only dedicated Beijing Auto Works dealer in Beijing, located just east of the Fifth Ring Road, not far from the WEY dealer I visited earlier on.
Beijing Auto Works (BAW), is a division of the Beijing Auto Industry Corporation (BAIC). BAW makes rough ‘n though SUVs, pickup trucks, and 4×4’s. They have their own distribution channels and dealers.
The shop was large with some 12 cars on display.
No hinges for that bonnet!
I asked staff what the heck was going on with all those new cars on the road. They told me the BJ212 got an updated version of the 2.0 liter petrol engine. The upgrade made the engine clean enough for Beijing, the car can go all the way into town; no restrictions anymore!
They also said the updated engine had done miracles for sales, they were now selling up to ten cars a week.
Staff was very friendly and told me all about the power plant, designated 4G20C. It is sourced from Jinbei in Shenyang. Jinbei is a brand under Brilliance (Huachen) Automobile. Capacity is two liter (1.998 cc). Output didn’t change since this engine debuted in 2012: 102 horses and 178nm. Gearbox is a 5-speed manual sending power to all wheels.
Top speed is a decent 115 kilometers per hour and 0-100 is gone in 10.8 seconds.
The engine now complies to the China V emission standard. However, China is already working on an even tougher China VI standard that will come info force in 2020. BAW will likely have to update the engine again to comply with that…
The model designation of the BJ212 with the 4G20C engine is BJ2023CHB3.
Size: 4080/1840/1870, wheelbase is 2300 and curb weight is 1550 kilo.
A neat white example. The bull bar is standard. The BJ212 is otherwise very customizable; buyers can spec the color of the convertible hood, color and kind of seats, kind and size of wheels, and the style of the mirrors. The white car was offered to me for 60.000 yuan round, a surprisingly steep discount on the 68.400 yuan list price.
Design hasn’t changed a bit over the years. The convertible hood goes off completely, and the seats and bench go out with one-click; perfect for a pick-nick up mountain.
The interior hasn’t changed a bit either. This ‘modern’ interior debuted in 2012, with a new instrument panel and a radio with a USB slot. But most of the switches look like they time traveled from the 1960’s. And they did. They BJ212 has been in continuous production since 1966! The loose wires are normal, they all have that. For “easy access”, staff said. Copy that. It makes some sense though, for this kind of vehicle.
The roll cage visible here, and trendy faux-leather black-orange seats.
Buyers can spec the original and ultra cool military style night-light, or…
… a conventional search light.
On the left side a BAW Zhanqi, a slightly larger and more upmarket variant of the BJ212 with a hardtop roof. It comes in a trillion of variants. The base passenger car variant on the photo also gets the new 2.0 engine, and it comes in at 70.000 yuan round.
All very nice but I prefer a red one with a black roof and five-spoke gray wheels. This one was also 60.000 yuan, they didn’t really make any difference in price for different wheels and mirrors and such. Easy…
I am truly tempted.
Or perhaps an all black example looks even better..?
In a later post more on the various Zhangqi variants; they had a whole parking lot full of pickups and wagons and other pretty.