Jonway Develops A280, a Suzuki Jimny Look-alike with Suicide Doors?August 30th, 2012 | Posted in Jonway | New Cars | Suzuki
Suzuki does not do very well in China, but its Jimny mini SUV has been a hot item. So it is not surprising to see local imitators. One of them is the Gleagle GX5 Geely unveiled at the 2010 Beijing auto show. This week sohu.com, a Chinese portal site, revealed another Jimny-inspired model, the Jonway A280.
The photos released reportedly came from Jonway’s patent application for the upcoming A280. Although no specifications were provided, the pics reveal some very interesting details.
While the overall shape and size of the A280 clearly remind us of the popular Suzuki mini SUV, both having body-on-frame structure, Jonway did not simply replicate. The front grille, for instance, has seven slots like a Jeep, while Jimny has five.
A more original modification was found on the doors. According to the editor at Sohu, Jonway adds a small rear-hinged door on each side of the car, making access to rear seats easier. (By just looking at the photos, we are not sure if this design is indeed intended for the production version; virtually all current mass-market models have shun suicide doors for safety reasons.)
So far Jonway has released on official information about A280. However, according to the "product roadmap" released earlier this year by its US partner, ZAP, ZAP-Jonway had been developing both a full-electric and gasoline versions of A280, a five-door mini SUV; production of A280 was expected to start towards the end of 2012 or at the begining of 2013.
Above: from top to bottom: A380 five door, A380 three door, ZAP-Jonway shuttle/van, A280, ZAP-Jonway Alias