GWM’s boxy new off-roader is getting plug-in hybrid (PHEV) power.

    Already on sale in Australia with a petrol powertrain, to be joined imminently by a hybrid, the GWM Tank 300 has appeared in a Chinese government filing with a PHEV powertrain.

    The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) filing details a system comprising a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor and a nine-speed automatic transmission, as in the larger Tank 500 Hi4-T.

    The engine itself pumps out 185kW of power, up from the 167kW of the petrol-powered Tank 300, while the battery is a 37.11kWh nickel manganese cobalt lithium unit weighing 247kg.

    Claimed electric-only range is 105km, though this is on the more lenient Chinese testing cycle.

    The Tank 300 PHEV has a kerb weight of 2600kg, or around 300kg heavier than the hybrid.

    As with the regular Tank 300 in China, there are both City Edition and Off-Road Edition design treatments; Australian-market models resemble the latter.

    While GWM’s Tank brand has yet to reveal any electric vehicles, it has busily been expanding its hybrid and plug-in hybrid offerings.

    The larger Tank 500 PHEV has already been spied in Australia, uncamouflaged and still in left-hand drive; it was spied alongside a camouflaged, right-hand drive model, potentially with petrol or hybrid power.

    The Toyota LandCruiser Prado rival is expected to come to Australia, though GWM has yet to lock in local launch timing.

    In the meantime, the Tank 300 has just gone on sale, and has little in the way of direct competition in Australia, even if you look purely at the petrol model.

    It’s an off-road-ready, body-on-frame four-wheel drive that’s smaller than the likes of the Ford Everest and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, and which also has only two rows of seating.

    The local range opens at $46,990 drive-away.

    By introducing a hybrid option in Australia, GWM has managed to beat hybrid specialist Toyota to market with such a powertrain in a body-on-frame off-roader.

    MORE: Everything GWM Tank 300

    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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