Click above for high-res gallery of the Beijing B40
The basic Jeep shape has essentially carried forward from World War II to the present day. It has also been replicated many times over by automakers scattered around the world, and variations on the theme continue to appear. The Chinese auto industry has never been shy about (ahem) "borrowing", and Beijing Automotive has come through with one of the "better" quasi-clones we've seen so far. The B40 is obviously Jeep Wrangler-inspired, but rather than ape the Jeep's signature front end, the B40 instead sports a more Land Rover-ish look (think LR2/Freelander 2). And you know what? It's actually kind of interesting to look at.
The interior is gussied up with contrast-stitched leather seats, a nav system, and a steering wheel that looks like it's been ripped from a modern Opel. The wheels are OEM Jeep knock-offs. One thing that jumps out at us is the door handles -- they're a flat style, similar to the ones Jeep used before switching to the circular push-button handles on the current JK Wranglers. We really like that old look better. Anyway, back to the B40 -- the only technical info Autoblog Chinese has is that it's powered by a gasoline engine. Offroad prowess is unknown, as is its production status, but at least we know what a Wrangler/Freelander love child might look like.
UPDATE: As has been pointed out in the comments, Beijing Auto is the current name of the automaker once known as the joint venture, Beijing Jeep. (Stands up, ready to catch javelins.) As such, this is in all likelihood derived from actual Wrangler mechanicals. As one commenter theorizes, if the nomenclature is related to the actual powertrain, this may well have the old 4.0L I6 underhood. You know -- the one you can't get in the USDM Wrangler anymore.
Related GalleryBeijing B40
[Source: Autoblog Chinese]
All photos Copyright ©2008 Bin Chen / Weblogs, Inc.