The expansion of Great Wall Motors’ Tank brand is continuing at breakneck pace.

    The company has unveiled the Tank 500 (formerly referred to as the 600) at the Chengdu motor show.

    The new brand’s Toyota LandCruiser Prado rival is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine producing 260kW of power and 500Nm of torque.

    It’s mated to a 48V mild-hybrid system.

    It also uses a nine-speed automatic transmission developed in-house, which the company says can support up to 750Nm of torque.

    “We continue to look at the development of Tank with great interest and an Australian introduction is still very much under consideration,” said a spokesperson from GWM Haval Australia.

    “In regards to specific Tank models, we’ll evaluate the business case thoroughly to decide which ones would be a good fit for Australia.”

    Based on a new body-on-frame architecture that’ll also underpin the GWM X Cannon ute, the Tank 500 features coil-spring suspension and a locking rear differential.

    A locking front differential is optional.

    Formacar reports its ground clearance is 224mm, maximum wading depth is 800mm, and approach and departure angles are 29.6 and 24 degrees, respectively.

    The Tank 500 measures 5070mm long, 1934mm wide and 1905mm tall on a 2850mm wheelbase.

    In contrast, the Prado is 4995mm long, 1885mm wide, 1890mm tall, and has a 2790mm wheelbase.

    Inside, the Tank 500 boasts a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.6-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

    Upmarket details abound, like a crystal-look transmission shifter and an analogue clock.

    The Deluxe Edition that debuted bears a two-tone paint job that looks heavily inspired by that of the Mercedes-Maybach GLS600.

    Like the Prado, it’ll be available with two different tailgate styles: one with an externally-mounted spare wheel, the other without.

    The Tank brand is set to gain even larger SUVs under the 700 and 800 nameplates.

    The Tank 500’s styling isn’t quite as rectilinear as the smaller Tank 300, with a gently curving shoulder line, though it wears a bluff, chrome-laden face.

    Visually, it has more in common with the LandCruiser-rivalling Tank 800 concept revealed earlier in 2021 and less with the wild, angular 700 concept, or the Tank 400 concept simultaneously revealed at Chengdu.

    GWM Australia has already brought in some left-hand drive Tank 300s for testing and promotional purposes.

    Based on the same body-on-frame platform as the GWM Ute, it may also be offered with a diesel option in addition to a standard turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder engine.

    Befitting the rugged ethos of the new Tank brand, it comes with locking front and rear differentials, an off-road creep mode and, appropriately enough, a tank turn function.

    GWM Australia says it has run focus groups and presented the business case to head office to get the 300 here.

    The decision is currently being evaluated by headquarters in Baoding, around whether sales forecasts justify the right-hand drive investment.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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