BAIC Philippines breaks ground with renegade BJ20 crossover
The BJ20's front-mounted engine and front-wheel-drive (FWD) layout allows for a fully-independent suspension system with McPherson struts up front and multi-links in back. That set-up doesn't just keep the ride smooth and even but also provides enough articulation to keep both drive wheels in contact with the ground even on moderately uneven surfaces. If the BJ20 is forced to wade through floodwaters, the compact FWD transaxle has less vulnerabilities to water intrusion than does four-wheel-drive (4WD) or rear-wheel-drive (RWD) utility vehicles--the BJ20's front-wheel drive shafts presenting less points of potential seal failure. The FWD compact crossover SUV is powered by the well-proven and Euro 5 compliant Mitsubishi 4A91T turbocharged 1.5 liter gasoline engine that comes with that maker's trademark MIVEC variable-valve-timing (VVT) system. That advanced VVT valvetrain optimizes the engine's intake, allowing turbo-boost to peak earlier, and longer than on previous generation turbos. The engine delivers peak power of 147hp at 6000rpm derived from a torque curve that hits a top figure of 210Nm with the engine running at 2000 to 4500rpm. That's 210Nm at 2000rpm and for 2500rpm more after that--torque numbers that look like they should be coming from a turbodiesel rather than a petrol burner, turbocharged or not.
The BJ20's turbocharged engine was specified as much for efficiency as for performance.
The BJ20's designers also finessed the transmission. Rather than a traditional 5- or 6-speed automatic gearbox, the BJ20 mounts a well-proven continuously variable transmission (CVT). The modern and rugged gearbox has a deep starting ratio for heavy-hauling situations, offers Steptronic virtual discrete gears if you're hankering for these, and has sport mode for when you want those optimal gear ratios continuously computed on the fly to be slightly deeper, multiplying those RPMs into richer torque. But, most importantly, the choice of a CVT gearbox keeps the engine turning without let-up during acceleration, not needing to ease off the gas for up-shifts, and keeping the turbocharger charged with engine revs. With all this elegant engineering, and even with hard metallurgy that makes it weigh a ton and a half when empty, the BJ20 delivers impressive fuel efficiency numbers and attained an average of 13.15 kilometers per liter on comprehensive driving conditions through inter-city highways and inner-city streets. List prices for the BJ20 crossover SUV are PhP 1.148M for the 1.5L Turbo CVT Standard variant and PhP 1.288M for the 1.5L Turbo CVT Luxury edition.