The Pak-China Friendship Car Rally has been making news for a couple of weeks now. The rally comprising a 22 vehicle motorcade carrying 52 Chinese passengers drove along the route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the old Silk Route. The rally traveled the length of Pakistan to Gawadar before crossing into Iran and then will make its way to the United Arab Emirates.
The star of this rally is off course, the FAW Besturn X80 SUV, successfully making through the enduring journey. While the rally itself is an initiative to cherish the decades-long friendship between Pakistan and China and particularly the multi-billion dollar Pak China Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, the FAW cars used in this rally have also proved the reliability of the Chinese vehicles, thus enhancing their reputation.
The X80 first appeared at the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show as “FAW X Concept” and was officially launched under FAW’s Besturn brand in April 2013. Since then the X80 is considered as FAW’s best sellers in China.
The Besturn X80 underpins a proven Mazda6 platform and is powered by either a 2.0 liter (146hp), 2.3 liter (154hp) naturally aspirated engines or a 1.8 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 180hp, mated to a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Do note that FAW also operates a joint venture with Mazda in China, so they have access to licensed Mazda technology & Mazda platforms are used to develop FAW’s other cars such as the Besturn B50 & B70 sedans.
The 2017 FAW Besturn X80
In China FAW has recently launched the 2017 X80 which has now become even more impressive thanks to the revised front & rear end & improvements made to the interior. In addition to the standard X80, a sporty version called as the X80-RS is also on offer and it boasts a different grill, black roof and red colored accents in the interior as well as the exterior. Price of the Besturn X80 in China starts from 99,800 yuan (PKR 15.21 lac) and goes up to 181,800 yuan (PKR 27.72 lac) for the fully loaded version.
The X80 is a prime example of FAW’s potential of producing world class vehicles, and more importantly shedding the impression of Chinese cars, which are largely misunderstood to be cheap & unreliable.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com