Bison Savanna 2

It has been nearly a year since it was spied doing road-evaluation rounds locally, but now the Foton Tunland has been officially introduced in Malaysia. The Chinese pickup won’t be known by its original name, but as the Bison Savanna. It’s not really hard to see why Warisan TC has come up with the new name, eh?

The 5.31 metre-long Savanna arrives in its double-cab form (the Tunland is sold in single-cab, extended cab and double-cab form domestically), with both 2WD and 4WD variants available. The first 100 vehicles are CBU units, but local assembly will continue the run.

Both variants are powered by the same 2.8 litre Cummins ISF2.8s4161P turbocharged diesel mill, with 161 hp (or 163.2 PS, as the local brochure states) at 3,600 rpm and 360 Nm from 1,800 to 3,000 rpm for numbers. China also has a lower-output 129 hp version of the mill.

Bison Savanna 4

There’s no mention of it anywhere in the local brochure, but the assumption must be that the Savanna’s performance figures should mirror the Tunland’s, and these include a 150 km/h top speed as well as a 0-100 km/h time of less than 13.5 seconds. Kerb weight is 1,860 kg for the 2WD, and 1,950 kg for the 4WD.

The only available transmission is a five-speed manual, but some differences between local and Chinese vehicles abound. The Chinese version – which we first got up close with in Beijing last year – features a Cadillac-derived tranny, but the Malaysian vehicle is equipped with a Getrag box.

Some other names that the brand’s distributor Angka-Tan Motor was happy to drop – the Savanna’s rear axle comes from DANA, while the transfer case for the 4WD version is sourced from BorgWarner, and the common rail fuel injection system and ABS system are Bosch-derived. Makes you think that people would think lesser of it without spouting those names.

Bison Savanna 10

Equipment common to both variants are projector headlamps, a bedliner tray as well as 16-inch alloys and 245/70 profile tyres, while the rear seats feature a flip-up mechanism to provide luggage space at a pinch. Oh, and let’s not forget the faux wood trim for the interior relief panels, quite possibly a first for a truck here.

Elsewhere, the 2WD model features a radio head unit with USB/Aux inputs and two speakers for its entertainment system. The 4WD adds leather seats, a CD player and another two speakers into the mix. As for safety kit, the list is made up of dual airbags, ABS and EBD. Three exterior colours are available, these being black, silver and white.

The Bison Savanna 4×2 Double Cab goes for RM71,888, while the 4×4 Double Cab is priced at RM79,888, both on-the-road with insurance. Angka-Tan Motor plans to assemble 80 units a month of the Savanna in the initial period, and is targeting to sell 800 units of the truck annually, with 60% of sales to be made up by the 4WD version. At the launch, the company said is aiming to introduce an auto variant by next year.