The New BAW 212 Off-Roader SUV Debuts in China

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The Chinese car industry has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. While many domestic brands have carved their own design identities, some still pay homage to established Western models. The all-new BAW 212 falls squarely in the latter category.

BAW 212

For those unfamiliar with the name, BAW stands for Beijing Auto Works. Formerly a subsidiary of BAIC, BAW became an independent brand in 2020. With a rich heritage dating back to the 1960s, BAW has finally unveiled the next generation of its iconic BJ212 off-roader. This long-awaited model unmistakably evokes a blend of design cues from the Jeep Wrangler, Ford Bronco, and Land Rover Defender, promising a capable and rugged companion for adventure seekers in China.

The BAW 212 arrives in two distinct versions: an entry-level model and a flagship "Special Edition." Leaked photos reveal a striking front end for the base model, dominated by a large black plastic bumper reminiscent of the Jeep Wrangler. Round LED headlights flank a simple grille adorned with three bold horizontal slats. Adding to the off-road prowess are a driver-side front quarter panel driving light and imposing black wheel arches that hug a set of all-terrain tires with black and silver accents.

BAW 212 interior

Dimensionally, the 212 measures a substantial 4,705 mm long, 1,895 mm wide, and 1,936 mm tall. The vehicle's muscular stance is further emphasized by the rugged-looking wing mirrors and door handles. Functional additions include side steps and mud flaps for tackling challenging terrain. The rear boasts a spare wheel carrier and a set of circular taillights, completing the utilitarian aesthetic.

The BAW 212 Special Edition takes things a step further with a unique front bumper and a redesigned grille that sets it apart from its base counterpart. BAW equips this flagship model with new wheels wrapped in performance-oriented BFGoodrich tires, a snorkel for improved water wading capability, a subtle hood scoop for enhanced engine performance, and color-matched wheel arches that elevate the overall visual appeal. Unsurprisingly, this additional equipment pushes the weight of the Special Edition to a hefty 2,150 kg.

BAW 212 suv

While the trend in China leans heavily towards electric vehicles, the BAW 212 bucks the trend by remaining firmly rooted in the world of internal combustion engines. Powering the beast is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine churning out a respectable 248 horsepower. This engine is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission and a robust four-wheel-drive system, ensuring the 212 can handle even the most demanding off-road excursions.

A glimpse inside the cabin reveals a modern touch with a large infotainment display taking center stage. A digital instrument cluster provides all the essential driving information at a glance. Physical buttons allow drivers to engage 4H, 2H, and 4L drive modes, lock differentials for maximum traction, and disconnect the sway bar for enhanced articulation on uneven terrain.


While pricing details remain under wraps, the BAW 212 is poised to inject a dose of nostalgia with a modern twist into the Chinese off-road market. Its blend of classic design elements, capable performance, and functional features will undoubtedly appeal to a segment of drivers who crave a rugged and timeless off-road companion.

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