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Jaecoo previews the J6 in Malaysia, a premium EV off-roader with big Jimny energy

Berita Kereta

Jaecoo previews the J6 in Malaysia, a premium EV off-roader with big Jimny energy

At the Malaysia Autoshow, Jaecoo has unveiled another vehicle slated to enter our market—the all-electric J6 that shows the way forward in terms of electric mobility while simultaneously and deliberately serving as the more youthful gateway model in its position below the J7.

In the tropical heat of Malaysia, warming anticipation has been building with a series of teasers for the upcoming J7 and J8 since their first appearance in January. Yet, even as excitement grows for this new release, Jaecoo, Chery's upscale off-road-centric brand, is keen to show us more.

The J6 might look familiar to you as it was first introduced in China as the iCar 03, a model from another sub-brand under the Chery Group. Last month, we had the opportunity to check out and briefly drive the incoming Jaecoo J6 on their home turf of Wuhu, China. In short, we came away fairly impressed.

However, the distinctive vertical "i" daytime running lights and taillights with its fractal edges are a clear nod to the iCar brand that, and were elements that we reckoned would be omitted in favour of Jaecoo-specific design touches.

It’s also worth noting here that the J6 unveiled at the Malaysia Autoshow also bore the iCar brand’s dotted ‘i’ logo up front and on the tailgate’s storage box. This was not the case on the vehicle pictured here that we sampled in China, where it bore more obvious Jaecoo branding.

With its unabashedly boxy shape, it no doubt reminds us most of the 5-door Suzuki Jimny, replete with its left field rugged appeal. However, the J6's 4,406mm length, 1,910mm width, and 1,715mm in height, and wheelbase of 2,715 mm certainly endows it with considerably more road presence.

In China, the iCar 03 comes in two versions: one with a rear motor producing 184PS (135 kW) and 220Nm of torque, and another AWD variant with an added front motor for a combined output of 279 PS (205 kW) and 385 Nm.

Three lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery options are available: a 50.63 kWh unit for the rear-wheel-drive model with a range of 401km, a 63.69 kWh battery with a range of 501 km (RWD) or 472 km (AWD), and a 69.77 kWh battery for AWD models with a range of 501 km, based on China's more lenient CLTC cycle.

Charging speeds are modest, with DC fast charging at 60, 80, or 85 kW, depending on the battery size, allowing a 30% to 80% charge in 30 minutes. Disappointngly, AC charging is limited to just 6.6 kW. Given Jaecoo’s premium positioning in Malaysia, it's expected that the highest specifications and the longest range will be available here upon launch.

Comparisons to the new Land Rover Defender are also not far behind, given its design and especially due to Chery’s joint venture relationship with JLR to manufacture vehicles for sale in China.

Stepping inside and ignoring the left-hand drive layout for a moment, the cabin is equally a departure from the existing Jaecoo J7 and J8, opting again to take inspiration from Land Rover. The black-and-white colour scheme, large grab handles, metallic silver trim, and exposed Allen bolt heads create a rugged yet refined atmosphere that suits its modern off-roader motif.

That said, the J6 is perhaps more overt in its emphasis of technology than its stablemates. The majority of its controls and readouts are digital to keep physical clutter to a minimum, utilising a 9.2-inch digital instrument display and a 15.6-inch infotainment touchscreen powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8155 processor. Additional features include a 50-watt Qi wireless charger, a panoramic glass roof, and an optional 12-speaker Infinity sound system.

The J6 is set to arrive in Malaysia sometime after the brand’s debutant showroom model, the J7, which should be launching soon. It certainly does offer a fresh alternative to the soft-roading electric SUVs whose aesthetics are, for better or worse, more aerodynamically smooth and thus have made them look a little samey and hard to distinguish from the pack.

Though you’re most welcome to check out the J6 at the ongoing Malaysia Autoshow, as with their other incoming model(s), you can probably expect Jaecoo to show off the J6 to the public at many different customer engagement events past this initial public preview in the lead up to its official launch.

How much will it cost? Your guess is as good as mine.

Jim Kem

Jim Kem

Content Producer

There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.

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