Another Chinese 4×4 SUV could be coming to South Africa

 ·13 Apr 2024

Chinese automaker Chery has unveiled a new 4×4, which it may soon bring to South Africa.

This decision would be unsurprising given the vast farms, coastlines, and outdoor activities that South Africa’s landscape provides, which is why SUVs are so popular among South African motorists.

The increasing global demand for crossovers and SUVs has led to most manufacturers entering this segment in South Africa.

Although there is a grey area between a crossover and an SUV, more than 30 automakers in the country sell one or both body styles.

The V23, a new SUV, is the latest product from the Chinese automaker’s electric sub-brand, iCar.

It will soon be launched in South Africa, although the exact date has yet to be announced.

The manufacturer has confirmed that it plans to introduce four more sub-brands in the country, including Exeed, Karry, and Luxeed, along with iCar.

However, these brands will not use their local names when making their South African debut.

Instead, the parent company will sell its catalogue under one of the three existing nameplates in South Africa: Chery, Jaecoo, or Omoda.

What to expect

Chery has announced that it will introduce the iCar to South Africa but has not confirmed which models it will bring.

However, given that the brand only has two models currently available, it is likely that the V23 will eventually be available in South Africa, reported TopAuto.

The car is expected to be sold under the sub-brand Jaecoo, which is focused on upmarket SUVs such as the J7 and J8.

Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that the new car will be named “Jaecoo V23” unless the automaker chooses a different model name.

The V23 is the fruit of a partnership between Chery and Zimi Technology, which is owned by the Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi.

This is the second iCar model to be unveiled after the 03 was introduced in April 2023. The V23 is smaller than the 03, measuring 4,220mm in length, 1,915mm in width, and 1,845mm in height, with a wheelbase of 2,730mm.

To give you an idea, it’s roughly the same length as the Jeep Renegade, but slightly higher and wider.

Considering that the Renegade is one of Jeep’s smaller SUVs, the V23 could be considered a relatively compact vehicle, at least compared to other 4×4 SUVs.

The battery-electric vehicle (BEV) has two different powertrain configurations: a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) single-motor setup or an all-wheel-drive (AWD) dual-motor setup.

However, the iCar has not yet provided the power figures for either layout. The company mentioned that it would use batteries from a Chinese manufacturer, CATL.

The AWD units have a range of 400km, while the RWD units can manage over 500km.

Additionally, iCar revealed that the V23 has an aggressive approach angle of 43 degrees, departure angle of 41 degrees, and ground clearance of 212mm. This suggests that the vehicle is capable of off-roading.

Many recent 4x4s, like the Suzuki Jimny five-door, Land Rover Defender, GWM Tank 300, Mercedes-Benz G-Class, and Toyota Prado, have adopted a boxy retro aesthetic that seems to be the latest trend among vehicle designers.

The iCar is also following this trend, and some confirmed features of the car include circular LED headlights, automatic climate control, a rear-mounted storage box, a two-tone black and white leather interior, a large infotainment screen, and a Level 2 Advanced Driver Autonomy System.

Further details about the iCar V23’s specifications will be revealed at the 2024 Beijing Auto Show. The car is expected to go on sale in its home market in the second half of 2024.

Read: Another Chinese bakkie is launching in South Africa soon

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