Earlier this week social media went ablaze with the news of another 800cc hatchback to be launched in Pakistan soon. Regal Automobiles, country’s third largest motorcycle manufacturers who tied up with DFSK of China to assemble and sell vehicles under ‘Prince’ brand name are in process of launching the Pearl Rex7 hatchback, which will take on the United Bravo in our market.
The leaked images show the exterior and interior of the car which apparently shows a striking resemblance with Changan Benni. A lot of people inboxed us to know more details about the vehicle and its origin in China. Thankfully, CarSpiritPK is the number 1 source of information when it comes to Chinese cars in Pakistan. We leaked all the details about the United Bravo last year when no one even knew anything about it & that post acted as the first source of information for all the portals and video channels of Pakistan. So here we bring you the details regarding the Prince Pearl 800cc hatchback.
As far as the images are concerned, the car looks very much similar to the Changan Benni, in fact the interior is exactly the same as Benni. But in reality the vehicle is not developed by Changan or DFSK for that matter. It should be noted that the Changan Benni acts as a donor model for innumerable Chinese hatchbacks and LSEVs (Low Speed Electric Vehicles) which are sold in second and third tier cities & rural areas of China.
The product that we see here is actually an amusing blend of Changan’s BenBen Mini and Benni. The BenBen Mini by Changan was once the cheapest car in China, that was based on the 7th generation Suzuki Alto. The Benni, is basically the second generation model that is longer, wider and taller than the BenBen Mini and has a bigger wheelbase too with a 1.4 liter engine under its hood. The Prince Pearl if you look closely, is basically a BenBen Mini, with a front fascia and rear-end of Benni.
Its interior however, is exactly the same as Changan Benni with just the difference of the logo on steering wheel. So what car exactly is the Prince Pearl?
It’s called the Yika E7, and is developed by Jiangsu Yika New Energy Automobile Co., Ltd. located in Suqian City of Jiangsu Province in China. Just like Dahe, the principal behind United Bravo, Yika develops electric vehicles to be sold in small cities of China but also develops conventional gasoline powered versions in limited numbers. However compared to Dahe, Yika has a relatively larger operational base and a better product portfolio.
Interestingly, the viral image spread by Regal Automobiles is actually a photoshopped version of the original Yika E7 EV, which remains the newest model offered by the company that was launched back in March 2017.
According to the company, the Pearl Rex7 will come equipped with an 800cc engine. As per our sources the engine is the same that’s found under the hood of Mehran. Which means, just like Bravo, the Pearl Rex7 or Yika will have its own version of Suzuki 800cc replica engine.
It is imperative to mention that automakers in modern era aren’t developing an 800cc engine at large. Japanese Kei cars are mostly equipped with 660cc Efi engines under their hood, whereas modern hatchbacks usually have 1.0 liter or above fuel injected units. Even modern Suzuki hatchbacks have fuel efficient K-series units that are mostly 1.0 liter or above. So any car with a Chinese origin having an 800cc engine under its hood is likely to have a replica Mehran engine on offer.
Pearl Rex7 will come equipped with a 4-speed manual transmission, the same found in Bravo & Mehran. On a positive note however, the Rex7 will come equipped with an automatic transmission option as per the company officials. This is nothing unusual since we have already seen Chinese versions of Mehran having an automatic transmission option available.
Just like United Bravo, the Pearl Rex7 will have a proper rear suspension setup with dampers and coil springs, unlike Mehran which still have leaf-spring suspension setup.
The Prince Pearl Rex7 will offer the same level of equipment that’s offered with United Bravo. It will have power steering, power windows, central locking, keyless entry, digital speedometer, touchscreen infotainment system, air-condition, dual tone interior, alloy rims, front & rear seatbelts etc.
As per our sources, the Pearl Rex7 will be priced lower than United Bravo, ideally between PKR 7.75 to 8.25 lac. However the automatic variant will be priced higher. Bear in mind that ongoing Rupee devaluation against the US Dollar will cast a significant impact on the prices, so final price tag may vary than the one estimated.
The vehicle is expected to arrive towards the end of this year. Although the company is carrying out testing and trials of this vehicle, the units currently imported from China are all left hand drive versions. We will update you regarding the development of RHD versions.
The Pearl Rex7 is going to give some tough competition to United Bravo. It will reportedly offer more colors to choose from, will be available in both manual and automatic transmission, has a better interior, will be priced lower and offer the same level of equipment as United Bravo.
Further information will be shared as and when available, stay tuned to CarSpiritPK the #1 source of information about Chinese cars in Pakistan.
A 3d animation professional with over 20 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations & production facilities of Pakistan, an avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver writings to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com