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by Tim Beissmann

The Besturn B30 is an all-new car from Chinese manufacturer First Auto Works (FAW) with a striking, modern appearance, but under the skin it’s not quite as contemporary as you may think.

Unveiled at Auto Shanghai 2011, the Besturn B30 is actually built on the same platform as the second-generation Volkswagen Jetta, which first went into production in 1984.

The platform has a long history in China. The Mk II Jetta was the first vehicle produced in China by the FAW-Volkswagen partnership. It went into production domestically in 1991 and is still being manufactured today.

Since then it has undergone two revisions and over the years has established itself as a popular and desirable model in many parts of the country.

Looking beyond the ancient underpinnings, the Besturn B30 is actually quite a sexy and aggressive little four-door coupe. FAW engineers are reportedly putting the final touches on the production design.

The B30 will be offered with a choice of two different drivetrains: a 75kW/140Nm 1.5-litre petrol engine teamed with either a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission, and a 90kW/200Nm 1.4-litre turbocharged unit with a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

The Besturn B30 will go on sale in China in 2012 with prices expected to range between 60,000 and 100,000 yuan ($8460 and $14,100).




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