In an eagerly awaited move, JAC Motors South Africa has introduced the new T9 double-cab range, representing the pinnacle of its T-Series line-up. The T9, first unveiled at the Shanghai Automotive Show only six months ago, resulted from over four years of dedicated development and extensive global testing. South Africa’s unique position as the inaugural right-hand-drive market for the T9 underscores its pivotal role in JAC Motors’ overarching global expansion strategy.

The new T9 is the company’s most advanced bakkie to date and is built on JAC Motors’ third-generation international LCV platform. The company, which entered the LCV and passenger car markets in 2007 after it started as a truck manufacturer in China 60 years ago, manufactures the T9 range in China for export to over 40 countries where the Brand has a presence.

“We are excited to introduce the T9 into our T-Series double-cab range, targeting customers in search of luxurious comfort and the driving experience of a passenger car, perfectly suited to their active lifestyles and dual-purpose needs,” says Karl-Heinz Göbel, Chief Executive Officer of JAC Motors South Africa.

Göbel emphasises the significance of the T9’s introduction, marking a milestone in JAC Motors’ local presence. “Concerted efforts over six years to expand our dealer network to over 70 locations in Southern Africa and crucial collaborations with industry leaders like WesBank to establish JAC Finance exemplify our dedication to providing innovative, cost-competitive financial solutions for our valued customers.”

Dynamic turbo-diesel efficiency

The T9 range showcases a new engine line-up from JAC Motors. This year, it debuts with the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine, while the pipeline includes a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine, BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle), and PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) models planned for 2024.

The T9’s super-responsive 2.0-litre four-cylinder, turbocharged, direct-injected, common-rail diesel engine featuring an intercooler and Electrical Variable Geometry Turbocharger (EVGT) delivers 125 kW @ 3,600 rpm and 410 Nm available between 1,500 to 2,500 rpm, ensuring extraordinary everyday drivability.

The T9’s highly efficient turbo-diesel engine, paired with a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, seamlessly transfers power to the rear wheels. The transmission offers various driving modes, including Sport, Normal, Eco and Snow, for maximum efficiency and a relaxing driving experience. The 4×4 derivatives offer electronic part-time 4WD with low range and a rear diff-lock for enhanced off-road capability.

The T9’s advanced drivetrain setup delivers remarkable fuel efficiency. The 4×2 derivatives achieve an impressive average fuel consumption of 7.8 L/100 km (combined cycle), offering an approximate 1,000-kilometer driving range on its 76-litre tank. With a braked Towing Mass of 3,500 kg, it is ideal for families towing heavy camping equipment when seeking adventurous outings.

“The T9 is more than a double-cab bakkie. It combines power, advanced safety and luxurious comfort with the drivability of a passenger car, delivering a complete lifestyle experience,” adds Göbel.

Chassis configuration

The T9’s double-wishbone independent front suspension with coil springs ensures superior handling, drivability and passenger comfort. This configuration effectively minimises body roll, enhancing stability, especially under heavy loads or challenging off-road situations.

The T9 supports a robust ladder frame suspension, including rear integral bridge support. It is 5,330 mm long, 1,965 mm wide, and 1,920 mm high, with a wheelbase of 3,110 mm. The T9 has a 6.2-meter turning radius, enhancing manoeuvrability in urban and off-road areas.

The T9’s payload is 1,000 kg, and the double-skinned load box measures 1,520 mm × 1,590 mm × 470 mm to ensure that cargo, luggage and lifestyle equipment can easily be uploaded for family excursions. The load box is sprayed with an anti-scratch and corrosion-resistant truck bedliner for maximum protection.

Off-road credentials

The T9 4×4 derivatives feature BorgWarner’s dependable ESOF electronically-controlled part-time four-wheel-drive system. Up to 80 km/h, drivers can transition between two-wheel drive (2H) and four-wheel drive (4H) with a centre console Dial Switch for extra traction on slippery surfaces.

It also features low-speed four-wheel drive (4L) with torque amplification for enhanced off-road capability. The T9, with a rear diff-lock, ZF eight-speed transmission, and safety features like Hill Descent Control, excels on challenging terrains. It boasts a 27⁰ approach angle, a 23⁰ departure angle and 210 mm ground clearance.

“Our new T9 is the ideal lifestyle bakkie for adventurous families to enjoy luxurious comfort on journeys to uncharted destinations while effortlessly navigating challenging terrains,” concludes Göbel.