The ute segment is undergoing heavy renewal at the moment, with an updated Toyota HiLux and all-new Isuzu D-Max and Mazda BT-50 lobbing before year’s end. The next Great Wall ute could be joining them.

    On the new ute, Great Wall officially said, “We are very excited about the upcoming all-new Great Wall ute and look forward to sharing details about its arrival in the near future”.

    However, CarExpert understands the next-generation ute could arrive as soon as late this year, or early in 2021.

    The Chinese brand has yet to confirm details of what the local range will look like, or what name it’ll wear. It’s sold in China as the Pao, which translates to “Cannon”, and is built at the company’s new plant in Chongqing that’ll also produce the next Haval H9.

    However production is eventually expected to shift to Thailand, where Great Wall has purchased the factory once used to produce the Holden Colorado ute.

    This is a larger, more upmarket ute than the current Steed, which means the base price is likely to increase beyond the current sub-$20,000 opener. We expect Great Wall to offer the active safety technology finally introduced to the Chinese market, including autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, and lane-keeping assist.

    Other new features for the Great Wall brand include a 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a surround-view camera, remote start and adaptive cruise control.

    The Chinese range features a commercial model, available in two different wheelbase lengths, as well as a more passenger-friendly model and an off-road focused model that’s been developed for Australia and New Zealand.

    The commercial model uses a leaf-spring rear suspension while the other two models feature a multi-link rear set-up.

    The off-road model offers a number of upgrades over the regular Cannon, including triple differential locks, built-in front winch and an All Terrain Control System with seven different modes. There are also tank U-turn and creep functions.

    The Chinese range currently uses two engines: a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder with 140kW of power and 360Nm of torque and a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four with 120kW and 400Nm. The petrol mill uses a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic while the diesel comes with a six-speed manual.

    At the Cannon’s reveal at last year’s Shanghai motor show, Great Wall confirmed a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel with 145kW of power and 400Nm of torque.

    Great Wall has signalled a diesel mill with up to 500Nm of torque is in the works, and has confirmed we’ll get a turbo-diesel engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission, a powertrain necessary for mainstream success in Australia. Don’t count on the turbo petrol making the trip here.

    The company also revealed last year an EV version with a claimed electric range of up to 500km.

    Compared to the dual-cab Steed, the Cannon is between 17 and 257mm longer and up to 158mm wider, with the off-road model 91mm wider than a Ford Ranger.

    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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