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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Jaecoo J7 hints continue as engine and more spec details emerge

First of three expected Jaecoo models will receive the uprated 1.6-litre petrol engine offered only on its Chery-badged twin in China.

Ahead of its local market launch, reportedly taking place next month, Chery-owned Jaecoo has released more details of the eagerly awaited J7.

Max output

Already present on local soil, with final testing now concluded, the first Jaecoo badged model will be offered with either front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive, and powered by the 1.6 T-GDI engine used in the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Max and Tiggo 8 Pro.

ALSO READ: Jaecoo J7 lands on South African soil as market debut gets closer

While sold in its home market under the Chery badge as the Tansuo 06, for South Africa, the J7 won’t be powered by the detuned version of the mentioned engine as it does in China where outputs stand at 137kW/275Nm.

Jaecoo reveals more details of incoming J7
South Africa will be one of the first right-hand-drive markets to receive the J7. Image: Omoda & Jaecoo

Instead, the local models will be privy to the same uprated unit powering the Tansuo 06, which means the same power and torque figures as the mentioned Chery models of 145kW/290Nm.

Regardless of the drive wheels, the sole transmission option will be an in-house developed seven-speed dual-clutch.

Known spec

Set to be joined at a later stage by the plug-in hybrid J7, as well as the less rugged J8 by year-end, the J7’s final trim level denominators remain open to speculation, though as part of the latest teaser info, Jaecoo has detailed more specification items destined for the top-spec derivative.

Chery approves plug-in hybrid Jaecoo J7 for South Africa
Note: Interior of the Chinese-spec J7.

Already confirmed to be fitted is the bigger 14.8-inch infotainment system, plus the 10.25-inch instrument cluster, Jaecoo has also approved the fitting of dual-zone climate, Adaptive Cruise Control, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a surround-view camera system that uses artificial intelligence to provide a transparent frontal view when going off-road.

While sporting a permanent all-wheel-drive system minus low-range, the unibody J7 is expected to offer the same 200 mm ground clearance as in China, plus a drive mode selector with seven settings; Eco, Normal, Sport, Snow, Mud, Sand and Off-Road.

Wait for prices

Still to be priced, the J7, and for that matter the six-seat only J8, will be sold alongside sister-brand Omoda from 40 already established dealerships as part of what Chery calls the O&J division.

A setup operating separately from the Chery brand, the J7 is expected to be positioned between the Tiggo 7 Pro and Tiggo 8 Pro with a projected sticker price of between R650 000 to R700 000.

As it stands, the projection is purely speculative and will only be affirmed either during the course of this month, or at the official premiere in April.

NOW READ: WATCH: Opposition beware? Jaecoo J7 preparing for a fight

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