GWM’s rugged, body-on-frame off-roader has been approved for sale in Australia, but only with a hybrid powertrain.

The GWM Tank 300 appears in government approval documents with a single 2.0-litre turbocharged Miller-cycle hybrid four-cylinder powertrain.

Mated with a nine-speed automatic transmission, it has a total system output of 224kW of power.

While GWM has yet to officially confirm the Tank 300 for Australia, CarExpert understands it’ll launch in 2023 with a hybrid powertrain – though the absence of the regular petrol model from these approval documents doesn’t necessarily rule out its introduction later.

The hybrid’s power output is up 57kW on the non-hybrid turbo four-cylinder offered in China, and GWM says this slashes the claimed 0-100km/h time from 9.5 seconds to 7.9 seconds.

While the approval documents don’t list torque, GWM has previously confirmed a total torque figure of 640Nm, up from 385Nm in the regular turbo.

The Tank 300 offers a choice of 17- or 18-inch wheels.

Tare mass is listed as 2331kg in the government documents, with gross vehicle mass of 2725kg, unbraked towing capacity of 750kg and braked towing capacity of 2500kg.

The GWM Tank 300 measures 4760mm long, 1930mm wide and 1903mm tall.

It rides a 2750mm wheelbase and has 224mm of running clearance.

These dimensions give it a rather different footprint from other body-on-frame SUVs, while it lacks a third row of seating like ute-based models such as the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport and Toyota Fortuner.

It’s 122mm shorter overall than a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited on a 258mm shorter wheelbase. It’s also shorter than the Pajero Sport and Fortuner, though it’s 115mm wider than the former and 75mm wider than the latter.

It’s not the only electrified model GWM is expected to introduce next year, as CarExpert understands the brand could have six or seven electrified models by the end of 2023.

That includes a plug-in hybrid version of the Tank 500, another body-on-frame SUV but one which sits roughly between the Toyota LandCruiser Prado and 300 Series in size.

Tank 300 models have already been spied in right-hand drive guise in Melbourne, and wear GWM Tank badging despite Tank being a standalone brand in China.

GWM is expected to preface all models from the Tank and Ora brands with its corporate branding, as it has already started doing with its Haval models.

In China, the Tank 300 is offered in both ‘City’ and ‘Off-Road’ editions, and the vehicles spied both in the metal and in the approval documents appear to be the latter.

Suspension is double-wishbone up front with a multi-link rear axle, while all off-road models ride on 17-inch wheels with the option of all-terrain tyres. A full-sized spare is mounted on the tailgate.

Tank 300 models in China offer features like low-range gearing and front and rear electromechanical locking differentials, and offer a tank turn function (appropriate!) and a creep mode.

They offer an approach angle of 33 degrees, a departure angle of 34 degrees, minimum ground clearance of 224mm and a maximum wading depth of 700mm.

A diesel version has previously been mooted, though it has yet to be revealed. It’s unclear whether this would use the 120kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel found in the GWM Ute or the more powerful 137kW of the Shanhai Cannon ute revealed at Chengdu.

Available features include heated, ventilated and massaging power-adjustable front seats, 64-colour adjustable ambient lighting, Nappa leather upholstery, a single-pane sunroof, and a heated steering wheel.

There’s a full suite of active safety and driver assist equipment available as well, including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist with lane centring.

In addition to a standard surround-view camera, there’s also a transparent chassis view designed for off-roading.

GWM is rapidly expanding its Tank brand. Though only the 300 and 500 are currently on sale in China, the latter of which also offers a turbocharged petrol V6, the brand has previewed a further expansion of its line-up with a series of production-looking concept body-on-frame SUVs.

These comprise the aggressively styled 400 and 700, plus the ostentatious 800 flagship.

MORE: Tank 300, China’s modified 4×4 a big hit, Australia could be next

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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