Saab B235R. The fat lives on in the pickup.

Sometimes you meet old friends unexpectedly again. 3 years ago, when the Saab B235R hit me from a Chinese engine compartment. He was almost the old man, except for a few details. He had now changed his name and heard from now on the name B236R. He had become weaker and had lost one or the other horsepower. Strange was only his installation position. Longitudinal instead of transverse was unfamiliar, but that had already before the Chinese Australier tries.

New Beijing F40 pickup
New Beijing F40 pickup. Photo Credit:

He has also been involved with an 6 automatic transmission since then, which, I must admit, suited him well. He lived at that time in a drum by name BAIC BJ40he got on quite well with. No elegant appearance as in the glorious times, more the type of rough logs. His work in the services of the National People's Liberation Army must have made him good, because China's military drove off on him. They saw him as an alternative to the American Humvee, who already has his big days behind him.

The B235R from Saab lives on

Granted, I thought the B235R would be with the Senova line pass onand the Chinese part of the Saab Saga would finally be finished. I was wrong, because a few days ago made the thickness of talk again. The engine, the Saab 9k and 9-5 drivers like to refer to as the "thicknesses", because plenty of 2.3 liters of displacement are distributed to 4 cylinders.

What is unusual today, but at the time of its creation was not. Ford also had an 2.3, Citroen distributed 2,5 liters on 4 pots, and Porsche also poured heavily with 3 liters. Only today, in the expiring age of small engines, is this displacement large. It is only reasonable. Displacement is the B235 equivalent to low speeds, good start, low consumption, low pollutants and relaxed gliding.

The B235R, or B236R as he wants to be called today, has surfaced once again in a very martial vehicle. From the brand Senova became Beijing, and with the new F40 BAIC introduces the pickup derivative of the BJ40. The robust basic design provides the BJ40, the all-wheel drive is as usual switchable when needed. The B236R engine was taken over unchanged, it performs 245 PS and 350 Nm, which is currently the largest expansion stage. In China, the pickup costs around 19.000 €, for a domestic make a lot.

During my test drive 2016, the charged 2.3 liter got along quite well with the mountain of sheet metal. Of course, there was a starting weakness, which one did not know from Saab times. And his engine had also lost its sophistication somewhere. You can see that calmly, because the Beijing F40 will hardly make it to Germany. The unofficial BAIC importer has only two more vehicles in the program, which are much more reasonable and compared to pickup toys. In addition, the martial pickup of environmentally-friendly neighborhood would be difficult to convey.

Nevertheless, the fat B235R lives on. Somewhere in China. That's a melancholy reassuring feeling.

5 thoughts too "Saab B235R. The fat lives on in the pickup."

  • The 9 life of a cat, or something? The SAAB genes seem to survive everything. After all, the sale of the engines is already 10 years ago!

  • (...) 10 years ago!

    "And the engine itself significantly older", one would like to add. He was (again wrong), no, he IS (!) Just a really good engine ...

    • Has been awarded several times as the engine of the year international!

  • If you want a relatively large four-cylinder currently, I recommend to look around at Mazda, there is still such a thing. There is not so convinced of the trend to small supercharged engines and goes with the Skyactiv gasoline a slightly different way.

    There are still 2,5 liter distributed on four cylinders, but without the Saab drivers so popular turbocharger, for which you have to buy a diesel at Mazda.
    If you want to have a charged petrol engine, you have to take the new Skyactiv X with compression ignition (comparable to diesel, in this country like Diesotto called), but there is no end to 2,0 liters and he has 'only' a compressor.

    If it may be a diesel, but there is something of Mitsubishi in the Pajero (3,2 liter four-cylinder), which is better than off-road vehicles with the presented in the article Boliden compare ...

  • Following the laws of physics, a displacement of 500 ccm per cylinder with stroke = bore is the optimal combustion chamber. The pressure wave after ignition spreads spherically. Hub = bore comes closest to this shape. The 500 ccm per cylinder result from the max. possible piston speed without the oil film would break and the velocity of propagation of the gases.

    It is no coincidence that the current model range and history of the car is brimming with 2,0 liters of 4 cylinders or other engines with 500 cc per cylinder - be it an 3,0 liter 6 cylinder or an 6,0 liter 12 cylinder. Or just a motorcycle with an 500 ccm 1 cylinder ...

    Who still stands on large combustion chambers, should not look to Japan, but looks better for very, very old vintage cars (Europe) or for Americans up to the 1970ern and finds 1.000 ccm per cylinder and more. Or you look for trucks and ships ...


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