Great Wall Motor has successfully filed a trademark application for the name “Cannon Alpha”, which could be used on its upcoming, more premium ute Down Under.

    The filing was made under Class 12 for “Vehicles for locomotion by land, air, water or rail; vehicle; cars; driverless cars (autonomous cars); electric vehicles”,

    The trademark filing suggests the brand will market the upcoming Shanhai Cannon under this name. It’s expected to arrive in the first quarter of 2024.

    It’s set to be the first ute locally to offer a hybrid powertrain. The Shanhai will also offer a turbo-diesel powertrain in Australia.

    It’s expected GWM will use the same hybrid powertrain as the GWM Tank 300.

    The Tank 300 hybrid uses a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine producing 180kW of power at 5500-6000rpm and 380Nm of torque at 1700-4000rpm, paired with a 78kW/268Nm electric motor.

    Total system outputs are 258kW and 615Nm.

    The turbo-diesel engine has more grunt than that in the regular GWM Ute, being a larger 2.4-litre four-cylinder unit with 135kW of power and 480Nm of torque, mated with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system.

    Less certain for our market is the flagship twin-turbo 3.0-litre petrol V6, which pumps out 260kW and 500Nm.

    While pricing hasn’t been detailed for the model, it’s expected to sit above the smaller GWM Ute model with which it shares its platform.

    The Shanhai/Alpha is only marginally larger than the GWM Ute. It spans 5440mm long, so only 30mm over the Cannon, but it is still large – it’s 70mm longer than a Ford Ranger, for instance.

    The new ute is expected to be pitched as a more premium lifestyle ute. That’s because instead of a leaf spring rear suspension like the GWM Ute, the Shanhai employs a multi-link coil-sprung back axle and double wishbones at the front.

    In China at least, it’s offered with electronically locking front and rear differentials, a panoramic sunroof, a power tailgate or barn door setup, semi-autonomous parking assist and a full suite of active safety and drive assist features.

    These include highway driving assist, front and rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, and safe exit warning.

    GWM could also bring the clever multi-lid bed divider to Australia, which splits the tray into three separate compartments.

    Prototypes have already been spied testing in Australia, alongside both left-and-right hand drive Tank 500 prototypes.

    In addition to the new ute, CarExpert understands the Toyota Prado-rivalling Tank 500 is also set to arrive in Australia during the first quarter of 2024.

    The company also recently hinted at a possible local launch of the rugged Tank 400 plug-in hybrid SUV in a new video shared on its social media.

    Jade Credentino

    Jade Credentino is an automotive journalist currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Jade has had a chance to review a variety of vehicles and particularly enjoys SUVs. She enjoys traveling and going on road trips exploring Australia.

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