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HomeNewsChinese Jaecoo J7 officially coming to South Africa – Dates and details

Chinese Jaecoo J7 officially coming to South Africa – Dates and details

Following months of hearsay, China’s Jaecoo has officially announced that it is entering the domestic market with its first SUV, the J7, arriving in “early 2024.”

South Africa will be one of the first countries in the world to welcome Jaecoo as the company itself is still quite young, only making its global debut at the Shanghai Auto Show in China as recently as April this year.

It doesn’t just have high aspirations with no foundation to back it up, though. Jaecoo is an independent sub-brand of the well-established Chery that focuses on “urban off-road SUVs” with a slogan that reads “From Classic, Beyond Classic.”

Jaecoo forms part of Chery’s “O&J” brands, with the O standing for Omoda which has had a firm footing in the local luxury crossover space since the launch of the C5 in April.

The Jaecoo name is a fusion of the German word “jäger” (meaning “hunter”) and the English term “cool”, thus “capturing two elements central to the brand’s philosophy: outdoor adventure and urbanism,” said Tony Liu, executive deputy general manager for Omoda and Jaecoo.

The J7 and other upcoming products will be sold through and supported by a dedicated network of O&J dealerships, with 30 already established across South Africa. 

The organisation plans to expand this to a network of 50 dealers by the end of 2024, said Liu.

Jaecoo J7

Details about the new Jaecoo J7 are still thin on the ground considering the nameplate itself is barely six months old, but the company has let go of a few key details about the SUV.

The J7 will be a “mid-sized” vehicle capable of comfortably seating five adults, and judging from Chery’s larger Tiggo SUVs that sit on the same T1x platform as the Jaecoo, the newcomer will be in the region of 4.5-4.7m long, around 1.8m wide, and 1.7m tall. 

The particular example of the J7 revealed to the press in China saw a 1.6-litre, turbocharged petrol plant married with a seven-speed automatic transmission, the same setup as in the Tiggo 7 Pro Max and Tiggo 8 Pro, doling out 137kW and 275Nm, according to a hands-on test by The Citizen.

The automaker further confirmed that South Africans will have two-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive specifications to choose from, and that the J7 will boast its proprietary All Road Drive Intelligent System (ARDIS) with a total of seven drive modes: Eco, Mud, Normal, Off-Road, Sand, Snow, and Sport.

It’s still unclear the types of equipment and features that the new J7 will be kitted out with in the local market.

Thus far, the manufacturer only said it will provide a 14.8-inch, vertically-positioned touchscreen for media and vehicle functions as well as “remarkable safety features and forward-thinking intelligent technologies.”

The model at the Shanghai Auto Show had items such as a digital driver display, a heads-up display, a 50W wireless charger, 64-colour rhythmic ambient lighting, leather upholstery, and Matrix LED headlights – and it is safe to assume that these will also be available in South Africa, but probably not on every single version of the SUV.

More details and local specifications will be released closer to the J7’s launch next year,” said Liu.

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