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Foton truck tames Baboons' Pass

2012-06-15 11:56

TAKING ON BOBBEJAAN'S PASS: The new Foton Tunland proved it was mopre than capable of taking on Baboon's pass and hopes to take on rivals Toyota Hilux, Volkswagen Amarok and Ford Ranger when it is launched in SA later in 2012.

Bobbejaan’s Pass in Lesotho is an arduous 26km trail through demanding 4x4 country. Chinese automaker Foton decided to prove to the South African 4x4 crowd that its soon-to-be launched Tunland bakkie could conquer it.

The new double cab, offered in two and all-wheel drive, is powered by a 2.8 turbodiesel engine capable of 117kW and 360Nm, mated to a five-speed manual transmission.

Brett Soso, MD of Foton, said: “We knew the Tunland was good enough to compete with the established brands but we needed a way in which to prove that fact to the SA public. Baboons' Pass is feared by all in the 4x4 community and to conquer it you need a vehicle not only extremely capable off-road but also tough, strong and reliable.

LARGE LOAD BAY

“Bakkies are very much part of South African way of life and many are used in the most extreme conditions. Baboons' Pass was therefore the perfect location to prove the Tunland on southern African soil and to provide the Foton engineers in Beijing with additional information before our first shipment of Tunlands arrives for the launch in October.”

Standard kit includes aircon, ABS and two air bags. The Tunland should make a great workhorse with its 1.5m long by 1.5m wide load box.

Accoridng to Foton, to compensate for the lack of a rear differential lock, the Tunland has exceptional articulation and wheel travel. The automaker claims the combination of its potent engine, low-range gearbox and stiff suspension makes a diff lock obsolete.

After making it to the top of Baboons' Pass, Soso commented: “I am absolutely delighted. We had heard horror stories of proven vehicles that didn’t make it and after seeing what the last part of the pass had in store for us, I was afraid that we were going to add our names to that list. However, the Tunlands simply kept going!"

Check back with Wheels24 in October when the Foton Tunland is launched locally!

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