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BAIC Brand Arrives In Malaysia, Previews BJ40 Plus And X55

Thoriq Azmi

Written By 16-05-2024

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China's state-owned BAIC auto brand officially marked its arrival in Malaysia earlier today.


The local automotive landscape just grew bigger today as Chinese state-owned Beijing Automotive Group Co. Ltd, better known by its brand acronym of BAIC, marked its arrival.

From our understanding, it appears that the brand principals themselves are orchestrating this Malaysian entry effort. CariCarz.com has also understood that local automotive assemblers EP Manufacturing (EPMB) have been appointed as the brand’s local assembly (CKD) partner.

For its first foray into the Malaysian market, the marque previewed two models that it intends to launch by the fourth quarter (Q4) of this year, both locally built (CKD) too. Shown today were the BAIC BJ40 Plus 4x4 luxury SUV, and the BAIC X55 C-segment premium crossover SUV.

Here’s a quick overview of each.


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BAIC BJ40 Plus

We’ll kick things off with arguably the most exciting of the duo, that being the BJ40 Plus. Aptly, this stylishly squared off-roader is poised to woo away those prospecting over the likes of the GWM Tank 300 and Suzuki Jimny 5-door – both of which are yet to launch locally too.

Its exact dimensions sees its sit 4,645 MM long with a 2,745 MM wheelbase, 1,925 MM wide, and 1,871 MM tall. For reference, the incoming Jimny 5-door is slightly smaller at 3,965 MM long, 1,645 MM wide, and 1,720 MM tall. Borne out of which too are proper off-road clearances -37-degree approach angle, 31-degree departure angle, 23-degree ramp angle, and 210 MM ground clearance. 


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Set to enter the Malaysian market in Q4 this year is the BAIC BJ40 Plus luxury 4x4 SUV.


Underneath, the BJ40 Plus underpins a body-on-frame chassis construction primed with independent double wishbone front suspension and multi-link torsion beam rear suspension assemblies. It also boasts all-round disc brakes and rolls on 17-inch wheels wrapped in 265/65-profile tyres.

Under the hood sits a 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbocharged petrol heart paired with a ZF-supplied 8-speed automatic box. As for outputs, they’re respectable too at 221 HP and 380 NM. There’s also a part-time 4x4 driveline brimmed with a rear diff lock and  BorgWarner transfer case, with electronic shift-on-the fly ability.  

In terms of kit and amenities, things appear modern, plush, and respectable in count. Included are all-LED forward and rear lighting complemented with front and rear foglamps. It also boasts a detachable top-cover plus nifty side-steps, as well as full-size spare mounted on the rear hatch, all of which adding further to this 4x4’s overall ruggedness.


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On board, there’s a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, navigation-equipped 10-inch central touchscreen infotainment paired with a six-speaker audio setup, dual-zone climate control with rear vents, ambient lighting, and power-adjustable driver seat. There’s also two USB charging ports, as well as plush leather seat and steering upholstery.

No active driver assistance (ADAS) here, but there’s at least cruise control, reverse camera and parking sensors available. Apart from ABS+EBD with ESP+TCS with RMI (Roll Movement Intervention), this off-roader boasts an electronic parking brake (EPB) with auto-hold function, tyre pressure monitor (TPMS), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), Hill-Descent Control (HDC), and some airbags.

In terms of price, the BAIC BJ40 Plus is set to enter the local market later this year with a tentative price tag ranging between RM180,000 and RM190,0000 – presumably with a RM200,000 ceiling.


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X55 – Standard And Premium

Seek something more daily- and family friendly? Then you might be inclined into the BAIC X55 instead. This C-segment crossover SUV arrives in Standard and Premium guises, and is about the same size as a Honda CR-V – it sits 4,620 MM long with a 2,735 MM wheelbase, 1,886 MM wide, and 1,680 MM tall.

In terms of styling, the X55 boast a relatively sharp and up-market stance plus an EV-like look stemming from its closed off grille design. Adding to which too are its flush stow-away door handles. Other key touches include full-LED forward and rear lighting, hexagonal bumper pattern, a la Lexus RX, and just a few chrome accents. 


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Also set for Q4 entry this year is the BAIC X55 C-segment premium crossover SUV.


Both variants share the same 1.5-litre 4-cyl turbo petrol hearts outputting 185 HP and 305 NM of twist to the front wheels via a 7-speed DCT automatic box. Underneath, the X55 underpins a chassis brimmed with MacPherson struts up front paired with a multi-link rear suspension assemblies. You’ll find 18-inch wheels in the Standard whilst the Premium rolls on larger 19-inch units instead.

Also shared across both are much of the cabin features and amenities. Highlights include a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen and a 10-inch instrument panel, dual-zone climate control with rear vents, panoramic sunroof, six-way power-adjustable front seats, powered tailgate, wireless charging pad, and a cooler box in the centre armrest.

What separates the two variants apart are firstly the choice of seat upholstery materials – PU (Standard) vs leather (Premium) – and the presence of ADAS. The latter is sees the Premium variant primed exclusively with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), and a 360-degree surround view camera.


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Other features exclusive to the Premium variant are several key luxuries, namely heated and ventilated front seats, rear seat angle adjustment, cabin ambient lighting, and an eight-speaker audio setup versus six in the Standard.

Take note that both models shown today were in pre-production state, meaning there are still plenty of amenities and features that aren’t finalised. We’ve been promised more details closer to the each model’s planned Q4 market entries.

 Back to the X55 and, like the BJ40 Plus previewed alongside it, only tentative prices were given, whereby the model is estimated to command between RM120,000 and RM140,000 – presumably, again, with a ceiling figure of RM150,000.



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Written By

Thoriq Azmi

Former DJ turned driver, rider and story-teller. I drive, I ride, and I string words together about it all. [#FuelledByThoriq] IG: https://www.instagram.com/fuelledbythoriq/

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JPJ Running Numbers

KUALA LUMPUR

VMR3903

SELANGOR

BRV5519

JOHOR

JXD5801

PULAU PINANG

PRG6477

PERAK

ANM2731

PAHANG

CEX4755

KEDAH

KFU9827

NEGERI SEMBILAN

NEC3422

KOTA KINABALU

SJE9768

KUCHING

QAB5158J

Last updated 14 Jul, 2024

Fuel Price

Petrol

RON 95

RM 2.05

RON 97

RM 3.47

RON 100

RM 4.50

VPR

RM 5.50

Diesel

EURO 2M

RM 3.35

EURO 5

RM 3.55

+0.20

Last updated 11 Jul, 2024

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