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HomeFeaturesNew Jaecoo cars coming to South Africa – Dates and details

New Jaecoo cars coming to South Africa – Dates and details

Chinese automaker Jaecoo has big ambitions to establish its presence in South Africa.

For 2024, the brand intends to introduce the plug-in hybrid J7 as well as the luxurious J8 to domestic roads in the third and fourth quarters, respectively, bringing its local product portfolio to two models and two propulsion technologies.

Later on, the company is looking at bringing the iCar 03 to the domestic market under the Jaecoo banner, a brand representative told TopAuto at the recent launch of the J7.

iCar, like Jaecoo, is one of the Chery Group’s numerous sub-brands focused exclusively on electric vehicles (EVs), and the company previously confirmed that it is planning to bring iCar vehicles to South African roads under one of its existing nameplates – i.e. Chery, Jaecoo, or Omoda.

However, there is no concrete timeline as yet for the battery-powered 4×4’s local debut so don’t get your hopes up too soon; it may only make an appearance in 2025 or beyond, depending on local market conditions such as consumer demand, EV infrastructure, competitor landscape, the exchange rate, and import costs.

J7 plug-in hybrid

Revealed this past weekend at the 2024 Beijing Auto Show, the J7 plug-in hybrid (PHEV) combines a 1.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor and battery large enough to afford 88km of driving on electricity alone.

The entire setup generates 255kW and 525Nm and registers a low average fuel usage of 4.9l/100km – far superior to the standard 1.6-litre J7’s 145kW and 290Nm output and fuel economy of 7.0l/100km.

The PHEV also features the brand’s All Road Drive Intelligent System with seven settings comprising Eco, Mud, Normal, Off-Road, Sand, Snow, and Sport.

It is safe to say the electrified J7 will assume the role of the flagship model in the line-up, so expect luxuries similar to what is found in the top-spec J7 Inferno.

These include leather upholstery, electric seats with heating and ventilation, a heated steering wheel, a 10.25-inch digital driver’s display, a 14.8-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an eight-speaker Sony stereo, a heads-up display, a wireless smartphone charger, a 360-degree camera system, a panoramic sunroof, and a suite of advanced driver assistance systems.

It will also get aerodynamically optimised wheels measuring 19 inches that assist in reducing the semi-electric SUV’s drag coefficient to 0.318.


The J8 is Jaecoo’s largest and most luxurious SUV, measuring just over 4.8m long, 1.9m wide, and 1.7m tall.

The sizeable seven-seater features Nappa leather upholstery, a matte black deer leather roof, faux wood finishes, and soft-touch surfaces for an upmarket feel, and offers creature comforts such as a 24.6-inch curved infotainment screen, a 14-speaker Sony sound system, 255-colour rhythmic ambient lights, and a “super-sensory” air conditioning system with independent temperature and fan settings for each row of seating.

Powering the pinnacle Jaecoo is a 2.0-litre, turbocharged petrol motor combined with a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic gearbox that drives either the front or all four wheels, depending on the model.

The same setup can be found in the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max where it produces 187kW and 390Nm, and we expect that it will do the same in the J8.

This is paired with “CDC magnetic levitation” suspension that can freely adjust the vehicle’s posture under different loads and road conditions to provide a good balance between comfort and handling at all times, said the company.

A PHEV variant of the J8 is also primed for a South African launch with the same 1.5-litre engine as the J7 PHEV married with two electric motors for a total potential of 445kW and 912Nm. The official local launch date of this derivative is yet to be announced, however.

iCar 03

The iCar 03 is a blocky SUV that was only revealed in February this year.

In Asia, the vehicle is available in two and four-wheel-drive guises with the former seeing a single e-motor generating 135kW and 220Nm perched on the rear axle, and the latter an e-motor at the front and rear with a combined generation capacity of 205kW and 385Nm.

The lower-tier variants come equipped with a 50.63kWh battery that achieves a maximum driving range of 401km on the CLTC standard, the mid-rangers get a 66kWh pack that boosts range to 472km, and those at the top boast a 70kWh module with a range of 501km.

At a fast-charging station, the smaller batteries can be replenished from 30-80% in as little as 30 minutes.

Standard amenities on the iCar include automatic headlights, a rear external storage box, a roof rack, an electric driver seat, dual-zone climate control, and a 15.6-inch central control screen.

The 03 occupies dimensions of 4,406mm in length, 1,910mm in width, and 1,715mm in height – putting it in the same category as something like the two-door Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

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