GWM has revealed a larger, more luxurious ute that’ll offer new turbo-petrol V6, hybrid, and turbo-diesel powertrains.
The GWM Shanhai Cannon debuted at this weekend’s Chengdu motor show as a new flagship for the brand, and the company’s local arm says the new ute is on its radar.
CarExpert understands it could launch in Australia in the next 6-9 months, and that the company is looking at all powertrain options.
There’s a good chance it could become the first hybrid model in the local ute segment given GWM’s focus on electrified vehicles.
“We’ve been watching with interest as the Shanhai Cannon Ute was unveiled in Chengdu and it’s fair to say it’s of some interest to the Australian operation,” said a spokesperson for GWM Australia.
“It’s too early to make a firm commitment but suffice to say we’re already having discussions with the factory about the potential to bring it Down Under.
“We’re continuing to see strong interest in GWM Ute and it could make sense to expand the lineup and give customers another option.”
As previously confirmed, the Shanhai Cannon will be offered with a turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol V6 engine producing 260kW of power and 500Nm of torque, mated with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
GWM has also confirmed it’ll be offered with a new 2.4-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine, plus a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol hybrid – though it hasn’t confirmed outputs for either.
Though this is the first hybrid GWM pickup truck, the GWM Tank 300 and Tank 500 SUVs have also been revealed with a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol hybrid.
The new 2.4-litre turbo-diesel engine has yet to appear in any of GWM’s vehicles.
According to a Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) filing, the turbo-diesel produces 137kW of power. No torque amount was listed.
For reference, the GWM Ute produces 120kW and 400Nm from its 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine.
The Shanhai Cannon shares its platform with the GWM Ute, though it’s unclear if that points to the sharing of its new powertrains.
The MIIT filing also lists the Shanhai Cannon’s dimensions. It measures 5440mm long, 1991mm wide and 1924mm tall on a 3350mm wheelbase.
That’s 30mm longer and 5mm wider than the GWM Ute, on a 120mm longer wheelbase. The Ute is already slightly longer and wider than a Ford Ranger.
The Shanhai Cannon’s tub measures 1500mm long, 1520mm wide and 500mm deep and features 18 tie-down points.
It’s accessible via either a traditional tailgate or an unusual split tailgate.
The Shanhai Cannon has a unique front-end design for a GWM pickup, though its heavily chromed grille and headlights are strongly reminiscent of the GWM Tank 500 SUV.
The logo used on GWM’s ute products is present on the grille, however, and has grown to enormous proportions.
The most dramatic visual change from other GWM ute models can be found inside, with a more luxurious interior. – indeed, GWM says it offers an “ultra-luxury premium business cockpit”.
The dashboard is almost identical to that of the Tank 500, with a large central touchscreen and digital instrument cluster, while an analogue clock adorns the minimalist centre stack.
The Shanhai Cannon was also revealed with a luxurious two-tone blue and off-white interior finish with wood trim, plus an illuminated outline of the truck’s front fascia ahead of the passenger.
GWM has focused on passenger comfort, with the rear seats boasting electric adjustment.
In a (translated) release, it also says the Shanhai Cannon has “a number of innovative patented technologies to achieve the rear NVH ultra-quiet experience”, as well as a suite of intelligent driver assist features and automatic parking.
GWM has been steadily expanding its ute range in the Chinese market, with the Ute/Cannon Australians are familiar with spawning a more commercially-oriented version, a two-door off-road version, and the longer, even more butch-looking King Kong Cannon.
The brand also revealed a pickup truck at last year’s Shanghai show called the X Cannon. Its outsized dimensions give it the appearance of a Ram 1500 rival, while like the Shanhai Cannon it used a 3.0-litre turbo-petrol V6.
Utes, or pickup trucks as they’re known in most markets, have become increasingly popular in the Chinese market as they’ve gradually shed their workhorse stigma.
The ute market has also been stimulated in China by the country’s government, which has been lifting restrictions on pickup trucks entering its cities.
More than 70 per cent of Chinese cities have lifted these restrictions.
In addition to expanding its ute range, Great Wall Motors has also been rolling out more electrified models.
It also used Chengdu to debut a plug-in hybrid version of the Tank 500 plus the hybrid Tank 300, along with new electrified models for its Haval and Wey brands.
It’s expected to bring electrified Tank models are here, and may potentially offer six or seven electrified vehicles locally by the end of 2023 including full-electric Ora models.