JAC confirm T9 bakkie-based SUV for 2025

Chinese Manufacturer JAC Motors has confirmed that they will be entering the ladder-frame SUV market come 2025. Car Magazine’s digital editor Alex Shahini shares the details.

Earlier in the week Shahini got to drive the T9 bakkie, and it was during this event that the announcement was made on the brand’s future in the SUV segment.

“Second to the driving experience of the T9 bakkie and the global 60th birthday celebration of the Chinese brand, Karl-Heinz Göbel, CEO of JAC Motors South Africa went into significant detail of how the relatively unknown automaker plans on continuing with a widescale offensive into the local market. One of the models that was briefly touched on is what was vaguely referred to as the T9 SUV. The SUV wears a near identical front fascia to its bakkie counterpart, with a similar (if not identical) fender, arch lining and potentially even the front doors being borrowed from its sibling,” writes Shahini.

The upcoming model is anticipated to share JAC’s JL32 architecture, which is also used in the T9 bakkie showcased at the 2020 Beijing Auto Show. It is expected to feature the same powertrain, which, for the T9 bakkie, is a 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine producing 125 kW and 410 N.m of torque. This engine offers configurations for rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. For reference, the T9 models available locally come with either 4×2 or 4×4 drive systems and are offered in Lux or Super Lux trims.

According to Shahini, the SUV is also likely to match the performance and packaging of its bakkie counterpart. The dimensions of the T9 are 5,330 mm in length, 1,965 mm in width, and 1,920 mm in height, with a wheelbase of 3,110 mm. It boasts a maximum payload capacity of 1,000 kg and a maximum braked towing capacity of 3,500 kg. According to Göbel, these features position it as a strong competitor against the Fortuner, Pajero Sport, MU-X, Everest, and Scorpio-N.

While the official unveiling of the T9 took place earlier in the week, JAC added that the SUV will debut in South Africa in the second quarter of 2025, with further details to be announced in due time.