JOHANNESBURG - Chinese importer JAC is planning to give South Africans a more affordable double cab option by the end of this year.
This will come in the form of a 2-litre petrol version of the current T6 double cab model. JAC says the new derivative is an attempt to fill the void left by the recent discontinuation of the locally-built Nissan NP300, which was replaced by the workhorse versions of the more expensive Navara range.
The JAC T6 petrol model is expected to cost a shade under R300 000 when it reaches local shores by early December, assuming that there aren’t any currency shocks that might push the price up. It won’t be without competition, however, as GWM currently sells its Steed 5E 2.4 Xscape double cab model for R286 900.
The JAC offering will attempt to sway buyers with a more generous spec sheet. Whereas the current JAC T6 1.9-litre turbodiesel model is sold in ‘Comfort’ specification, and priced at R332 400, the new petrol model will come in ‘Luxury’ guise, adding items such as leather seat upholstery to the mix, as well as a touchscreen infotainment system with reverse camera.
The 2-litre normally aspirated petrol engine produces 108kW at 6000rpm and 190Nm from 3500rpm, JAC says.
More upmarket models coming
The importer is also expanding its model range upwards, with a bigger engine for the recently-introduced JAC T8 model and well as an all-new model called the T9.
From later this year the T8 will be offered with a Volkswagen-sourced 2-litre turbodiesel. JAC says it will carry a price premium over the current 1.9-litre turbodiesel engine, which costs R392 400 in 4x4 guise.
Yet the bakkie that attracts the most attention will be the new T9 that’s set to come to market in 2022. It features a larger body than the current T8, as well as a bold new design. The cabin will also be somewhat more digitised, and will feature a digital instrument cluster and large central infotainment system.
The T9 will be powered by an Isuzu-sourced 2.5-litre turbodiesel motor. JAC says it’s too early to talk price, however, it will inevitably command a premium over the T8.
"The South African market is an important right-hand-drive market for the company, which is evident in the latest technology products being available to the local market," said JAC Motors South Africa CEO Karl-Heinz Göbel.
JAC currently has 50 dealerships in South Africa and Namibia.