Facelift for Changan BenBen

Yes, the BenBen. You read it right. The BenBen is a compact hatchback from the Chinese colossus Changan. Changan delivers an EV version of the BenBen and it is that electric variant that is given a completely new front and a new interior.

Let’s be honest, we can’t deny that the Changan BenBen deserves to be lifted onto a stage just because of its name, but the little EV has an equally fun history that we take a brief look at. The BenBen is a compact five-door hatchback that was marketed purely in China in 2006 (photos 18, 19 and 20). The 3.53 meter short BenBen, also referred to as ‘Benni’, was available with 1.0 and 1.4-liter large four-cylinder petrol engines. In 2010 the regular BenBen was replaced by the equally fantastic BenBen Love, in fact nothing more than a facelifted version of the original BenBen (photo 21 and 22). The BenBen Love was joined by the BenBen Mini, a hipper designed and higher-marketed sister model (photos 23 and 24). The pair lasted until 2013, the year in which the BenBen II was shown to the world (photo 25).

Changan BenBen I

The primal BenBen

With the introduction of the BenBen II, Changan simply had one BenBen on the price lists again, but one that was joined by a fully electric version: the BenBen EV. It is that compact electric BenBen that is now being facelifted and not only has a renewed front, but also a new name. From now on, the electric BenBen will go through life as a BenBen E-Star. The BenBen E-Star has, just like the pre-faceliver version, a 75 hp and 170 Nm strong electric motor that drives the front wheels. The battery pack has a capacity of 32.2 kWh, which means that the E-Star should be good for a NEDC range of 300 kilometers. The 3.73-meter-long BenBen E-Star has a 147-liter luggage compartment, though you should be able to bring 530 liters of stuff with you if you throw the backseat flat.

Changan BenBen II

The BenBen II EV (pre-facelift)

The BenBen E-Star gets, among other things, a completely new and sleeker muzzle, the interior is also completely overhauled. The electric hatchback will, among other things, have two 10.25-inch large displays and a rotary knob with which the transmission can be operated. Of the BenBen EV, so the version for the facelift, only slightly more than 2,300 copies went over the Chinese counter last year. A year earlier, there were still nearly 13,000. It is therefore easy to answer the question why Changan upgrades the BenBen EV and renames it E-Star.

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