SHIYAN, Hubei – The Dongfeng Mengshi SUV (or the “Brave Warrior” in Chinese) will hit the commercial market in September. The military version (Dongfeng Armor) will carry a price tag of ¥500,000 ($65,789) while the commercial version (Dongfeng Hanma) will be sold at ¥800,000.
Also known as the EQ2050, the 1.5 ton capacity, four-wheel drive troop/cargo carrier SUV is being developed and built by Dongfeng Motor Corporation (DFMC). The vehicle was initially based on General Motors’ High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV).
DFMC began to develop a Chinese copy of the HMMWV in mid-2002. An early prototype EQ2050 Dongfeng Armor, built using imported HMMWV parts and chassis, made its debut in an auto show in 2003.
By 2004, the Dongfeng EQ2050 was chosen by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) as a potential candidate for a new-generation of 1.5t class high mobility utility vehicle to be used in the army. Between 2004 and 2006, a total of 57 sample vehicles were delivered to the PLA for test and evaluation. These vehicles were tested in regions with the toughest of weather and road conditions in China. In December 2006, the EQ2050 successfully passed the PLA review for design finalization.
The EQ2050 is generally identical to the HMMWV in appearance and size, but with re-designed headlights and a different grille.
The vehicle is available in seven variants all sharing the same chassis, with four basic hull designs (soft-top, hard-top, truck, and van) and two kinds of engine configurations (Cummins EQB150-20 turbo-charged diesel or imported GM 6.5L V8 turbo-charged diesel engine).
The EQ2050 has a maximum road speed of 130km/h. The vehicle has a 5-speed gear box and a 2-speed transfer box. It is a four-wheel drive with independent suspensions and a central inflating system. Optional equipment includes air conditioning, GPS, night vision equipment, vehicle-mounted radio, electronic winch, and a multipurpose weapon mount.