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Exclusive: Another Chinese SUV spotted in Australia

Check this: It might not have any badges, but this vehicle looks like an upcoming SUV coupe from small Chinese car brand Bisu. Picture: William Dawson.

Disguised SUV coupe captured in Melbourne appears to be Bisu T7 test mule

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14 Dec 2017

By RON HAMMERTON

ANOTHER Chinese engineering test mule has been spotted out and about in Melbourne, this time a large crossover vehicle that appears to be the upcoming SUV flagship of fledgling manufacturer Bisu Auto.

Called Bisu T7, the vehicle is a slope-backed, coupe-style twin of the equally new wagon-style Bisu T6 SUV that will sit atop a four-model SUV range from the small but ambitious Chongqing-based car-maker Chongqing Bisu Automotive Corporation.

The T7 and T6 are slated for release in China in 2018, joining two smaller existing SUVs – the T3 launched in December last year and the mid-sized T5 that hit the market only recently – along with a small people-mover, the M3.

Although Bisu Auto is just two years old, having been founded in the western Chinese city in 2015, it has plans for an eight-model range, including two electric vehicles, by 2020, according to carnewschina.com.

The website reports that Bisu is a sister brand to Huansu, a joint venture between a Chongqing motorcycle manufacturer Yinxiang and one of China’s large state-owned motor companies, Beijing Automobile Industry Corporation (BAIC).

This might explain the presence of the Bisu vehicle in Australia, as BAIC is a customer of transmission supplier DSI (Drivetrain Systems International), the former Australian company that retains its engineering centre in the south-eastern Melbourne suburb of Springvale.

As far as we know, Bisu has no plans to launch in Australia.

Bisu has just released an eight-speed automatic transmission variant of its seven-seat T5 mid-size SUV that was launched with a manual gearbox earlier this year. The vehicle is powered by a 111kW/215Nm 1.5-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol engine.

That engine and a larger 1.8-litre unit reportedly will appear in the T6 and T7 when they hit the showrooms in 2018.

The one-size smaller T3 SUV that was launched a year ago gets a 1.3-litre petrol turbo engine with 98kW and 185Nm.

At first glance, the disguised test car in our pictures looks a bit like a Haval, partly because the sides of the five-bar chrome grille have been taped over to hide its overall shape, but closer inspection reveals designs cues shown in spy shots and concept car photographs of Bisu vehicles in China.

The T7 test vehicle spotted by a car fan in a car park in Melbourne bears the same “left-hand drive vehicle” and “engineering evaluation vehicle” stickers on the back as those seen on another Chinese SUV, the Lifan X80, photographed by another eagle-eyed GoAuto reader in northeast Victoria just last month.

The Lifan test car was undisguised and carried Lifan badges, no doubt because it is already on the market in China, but the unreleased Bisu T7 had the usual checkered disguise and badges removed.

Like Bisu, Lifan also hails from Chongqing, the biggest vehicle manufacturing base in China.

On the Yangtze River, Chongqing is also home to Changan, one of the big four Chinese motor manufacturers and joint venture partner of Ford, Mazda and Suzuki.

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