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South Africa will be the first right-hand-drive market to receive the J7 in early 2024.

Ahead of its local market debut next year, Chery-owned Jaecoo has provided more details of the incoming J7 that will head-up the brand’s introduction before being joined towards the latter stages of 2024 by the six-seat J8.

Watch walkaround of the J7 below

Unveiled in April at the Shanghai Auto Show as the first model to wear the Jaecoo moniker, which incidentally takes its name from the German for hunter (jäger) and cool, the J7, as is known by now, will be sold in conjunction with sister marque, Omoda, to create what Chery calls the O&J division.

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Separate from the main Chery brand and sold out of different dealerships, of which a reported 30 have so far been established, the J7 will derive motivation from the 1.6 T-GDI engine used in the Tiggo 7 Pro Max and Tiggo 8 Pro, but with reduced outputs of 137kW/275Nm from 145kW/290Nm.

Chery reveals more details of incoming Jaecoo J7
Squared-off rear provides a modernised retro touch to the J7.

Hooked to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, Chery has confirmed that, in addition to the permanent all-wheel-drive system, the J7 will be offered with front-wheel-drive in entry-level spec.

Sampled with the former in the aftermath of Chery’s New Journey, New Life International User Summit held in its hometown of Wuhu last month, the J7 rides on the same T1X platform as all the other Chery models, and besides now approved drive wheels, will have a choice of no less than seven driving modes; Eco, Normal, Sport, Snow, Mud, Sand and Off-Road.

Expected spec

Chery reveals more details of incoming Jaecoo J7
South African models will be privy to a 14.8-inch infotainment system.

Measuring 4 500 mm long, 1 865 mm wide and 1 680 mm tall while riding on a 2 650 mm wheelbase, the J7 is expected to offer a ground clearance of just over 200 mm, and for South Africa, will be privy to the bigger 14.8-inch tablet-like infotainment system instead of the 13.2-inch offered in other markets.

Chery reveals more details of incoming Jaecoo J7
Seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox will be supplemented by a drive mode selector with seven settings.

While specification is still to be finalised, the drive around a rallycross-type track on the outskirts of Wuhu, plus careful evaluation of the exhibited J7, did reveal items such as a 10.25-inch freestanding instrument cluster, a floating centre console, Sony-branded sound system, leather seats with the fronts being heated, climate control and LED headlights to name a few.

Fitting in

Set to be positioned between the all-wheel-drive Tiggo 7 Pro Max and the Tiggo 8 Pro Max when it goes on-sale, pricing for the J7 remains a mystery with Chery declining to reveal details in spite of picking the brains of the assembled media after the J7 drive about the anticipated sticker.

Projected, but not confirmed, to be priced around the R650 000 to R700 000 mark depending on the eventual specification, expect more details to emerge before the end of 2023 in readiness for the commencing of sales next year.

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