Kamis, 04 April 2013

Tunland surprises on dynamometer

ALWYN VILJOEN got on a roll with the biggest Chinese bakkie in South Africa and was left quite breathless.
On the dynamometer at the Bosch Diesel Centre in Pietermartzburg, the Foton Tunland made 379 Nm, 19 Nm more than it has on paper. (INSET) Hayden Keating — KZN’s youngest certified expert on modern, high-pressure diesel systems — declared himself favourably impressed by the big new Chinese.
IF you are in the market for a double cab, you can do a lot worse than the Foton Tunland 4x2.
This big Chinese bakkie retails for just under R250 000, but performs on par or better than bakkies in its power league, offering as many Newtons as the Defender Pickup, but costing R110 000 less.
Wait, who is Foton?
If you have never heard of Foton, you can be impressed by the fact that this state-owned Chinese company convinced the Americans at Cummins to built a special engine for their bakkie — at 2,8 litres, it is the smallest in the legendary Cummins stable.
Cummins were only too happy to be associated with Foton, which lay claim to be the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in terms of sales since 2009.
South African is one of more than 125 countries where Foton models are sold, including Foton tractors, which have ploughed a respectable furrow for themselves in KZN.
So how strong is this Tunland?
Foton says their Cummins ISF 2,8 turbo diesel generates 360 Nm at 1 800 rpm. This puts it on par with the 3,0-litre Defender and among the five strongest bakkies in SA, none of which can compete with the big Chinese in price.
Its peak work rate is a respectable 120 kW at 3 600 rpm. But that’s on paper. On the dynamometer at the Bosch Diesel Centre in Pietermartzburg, the Tunland gave 19 Newtons more — 379 Nm at 137 km/h on the test bed. The extra power happened at 2 897 rpm, but as most South Africans drive their double cabs like a petrol, these high revs seemed tailored to our market.
How does it rate against SA’s strongest bakkies?
Nissan’s very thirsty Navara 3,0 dCi V6 leads the pack with 550 Nm,
Next up is Ford’s formidable Ranger 3,2-litre at 470 Nm, a spot it shares with Mazda’s BT50.
The Tunland 2,8 and Landy Rover
Defender 130 TD Crew Cab ties at third with 360 Nm.
In fourth place, SA’s best-selling bakkie, the Hilux, makes 343 Nm.
VW’s frugal Amarok 2,0 biTDi rounds off the top five at 340 Nm.
Where can I service it?
To date, a dealer network is the one weakness in Foton’s foray into SA’s competitive bakkie market.
There are currently 35 dealers listed on their website — almost half of them in Gauteng. Five KZN dealers are in Durban, Gateway, Pinetown, Newcastle and Uvongo.
What payload does it carry?
The Tunland’s ladder-frame chassis rides on 16-inch Savero radial tyres that enable a payload of 965 kg on the 4x4, which pulls a 2,5-ton braked trailer. The big load bin measures 1,52 metres long, 1,58 metres wide and is 44 cm deep. Rubber lining is standard.
Is it comfortable?
The roomy cab competes easily with any of the other top double cabs in terms of leg and head room.
The plastic cladding and wood panelling look neat and — more important for a bakkie — clean easily.
The ride is pliant rather than juddery, thanks to an independent double wishbone upfront. The rear has standard leaf springs.
Honestly now, no niggles?
Hayden Keating
The emissions warning light came on intermittently, which Hayden Keating — KZN’s youngest certified expert on modern, high-pressure diesel systems — said likely indicates an over-sensitive air sensor controlling the exhaust gas regulator valve. The clip in the rear ashtray came lose and the radio only has an auxiliary cable, not a USB port.
And what if it breaks?
The Tunland comes with a three-year, 100 000 km warranty, but with a Cummins engine and Bosch parts, chances of breaking are slim.
What do the experts say?
Deon Jacobs, Land Rover specialist at Offroad Fanatics, said: “This bakkie will put Foton on the map.”
Shabir Razak, diesel service adviser, said: “You know, I am half sold just by the Cummins badge. You don’t get comebacks with Cummins.”
Gary Peacock of Idada Motors Repairs took one look at the engine and said: “Now that is what I call a proper intercooler.”
As The Witness reported at the launch of the 4x4 Tunland Comfort, the Tunland has the looks, the price, and most of the goods to impress any bakkie-buyer in SA.
At R250 000, the 4x2 Tunland may not set any new benchmarks, as did the Ranger or Amarok, but it does have all the basics and over delivers when it comes the power.

1 komentar:

  1. Being reblogged from the original the is the modern form of flattery, so thanks, but note it takes at least 1000 Newtons more to leave this trucker breathless.
    For how the Tunland did in South Africa's first day-night 4x4 enduro, check http://talkingransport.blogspot.com/2013/04/tunland-surprises-on-dynamometer.html.