JAC T8 Pro: China pick-up with engine from Japan

The JAC T8 Pro is a pick-up truck from China that will be on the market in 2023. We were already on a first test drive.

Pick-ups with double cabs are particularly popular in Asian countries. Ford builds the Ranger in Thailand, as does Mitsubishi in the L200 (but no longer for Europe). The JAC T8 Pro comes from China. He should also get involved in the one-ton class. Not only in Asia, but also on the German market. In 2023 importer Indimo Automotive starts sales. We were already able to go out for a detailed test drive with the JAC T8 Pro.

Optics and format follow the needs of the market. With a length of 5.33 meters, the Chinese corresponds to the Ford Ranger and Co. The design of the T8 Pro is also based on the predecessor of the Ranger that has just been replaced. The lined loading area has a footprint of 1.52 x 1.52 meters. Too bad: Two Euro pallets don't fit on the car, so the compartment would have to be at least 1.60 meters long (or wide). After all, there will be a trailer hitch. 2.5 tons trailer load are planned, the final homologation is still pending. With an unladen weight of 1,940 kilograms, the Chinese can carry a maximum payload of 900 kilograms.

Part of this is attributable to drivers and passengers. In the second row, the JAC T8 Pro offers class-appropriate space. That means: For tall people, it gets a bit tight around the knees, depending on the position of the front seat. There is sufficient headroom in front of the vertical rear window.

Cockpit with greetings to the Ford designers

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The driver looks at easy-to-read digital instruments. The vertically arranged touchscreen in the center console is reminiscent of current Ford models, including the Ranger. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can also be used via a cable connection. Unfortunately, a menu item is missing here to return to the vehicle's own program. Since the air conditioning setting is also controlled via the touch-sensitive screen, you first have to unplug the USB cable to reach the corresponding menu.

This can be revised before the market launch. Larger icons on the monitor can also be used on this occasion to make operation less distracting.

Mitsubishi petrol engine

After pressing the start button, the engine under the front hood starts to work. The JAC T8 Pro has a supercharged Mitsubishi petrol engine with a displacement of 2.4 liters. The unit delivers 150 kW /204 hp, the maximum torque of 320 Newton meters is between 2,000 and 4,000 rpm. at. The driver is responsible for the correct translation. A manual six-speed gearbox is the only option. The precise guidance of the lever in the shift gates is pleasing here.

Without a load or trailer, the JAC T8 Pro is motorized with sufficient power with this motor.According to the on-board computer, fuel consumption levels off at just over nine liters per 100 kilometers. If the payload is savored, this value should climb quickly. A diesel model for heavy duty is not offered.

At the front it offers a double-link wheel suspension with anti-roll bar. Despite the rigid axle with leaf springs on the rear axle, the T8 Pro also offers usable comfort on country roads. The Chinese is a sedan chair, like most other pickups, but not. During normal driving, the rear wheels are driven. The front axle can be switched on via a rotary switch on the center console. You can also select a terrain reduction.

Significantly cheaper than Isuzu and Co.

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The driving assistance is manageable. In addition to parking sensors at the front and rear and a 360-degree all-round view, there is a cruise control system. But you have to be responsible for keeping your lane and your distance. At night, xenon headlights light the way. Compared to the more modern LED technology, the gas discharge lamps are less bright and also less durable.

Ingredients like these help the Chinese drive down prices. The JAC T8 Pro costs 29,995 euros from the import warehouse. This makes it significantly cheaper than the competition. Isuzu charges around 38,000 euros for the D-Max with double cab, SsangYong for the Musso with all-wheel drive around 35,500 euros. The Ford Ranger and VW Amarok, both of which will soon be on the road, on construction sites and on dirt roads as a new generation of models, will be even more expensive.

Conclusion

The JAC T8 Pro is a cheap alternative in the market segment of pickups with a double cab. Those who do not often tow heavy trailers and collect long-distance kilometers should also be able to cope with the consumption of the Mitsubishi petrol engine. In the spring of 2023, the Chinese, which costs almost 30,000 euros, should be available from dealers.

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