The Ford Ranger-rivalling GWM Ute range is adding a Raptor-inspired Baja Snake model.

    The Baja Snake has a brash new look and some changes under the skin, though there’s no extra power.

    It’s entering production but hasn’t been confirmed for an Australian launch.

    “We’re not in a position to comment on future product other than to say that we continue to work with our Head Office colleagues to explore options for widening the GWM range here in Australia,” a GWM spokesperson told CarExpert.

    “Suffice to say that if we can make the business case stack up for any new products that might be on the drawing board, then we’ll look to make them available to buyers Down Under.”

    The Baja Snake is distinguished from lesser Utes through a restyled front end with an unusual grille that features ‘fangs’ on either side.

    The front bumper is also dramatically different from lesser models.

    The Baja Snake sits on chunky Toyo R/T off-road tyres that sit within squared-off, flared wheel arches. A snorkel sits just above the front right-hand arch.

    Down back, there are huge sail panels, while the concept has two spare tyres sitting in the tray.

    Inside, the Baja Snake is distinguished from other Utes through its expansive use of Alcantara trim on the dash and seats, plus orange highlights on the dashboard.

    GWM’s new logo is featured prominently on the centre console armrest and front headrests.

    The company has added Fox nitrogen shock absorbers, 14-stage adjustable damping and also raised the ride height by 50mm.

    Under the bonnet sits the standard engine offered in Chinese-market GWM Utes: a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder producing 140kW of power and 360Nm of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

    In contrast, Australian-spec Utes are available exclusively with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine with 120kW of power and 400Nm of torque, also with an eight-speed auto.

    In Australia, the Ute undercuts similarly-specified Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux models by several thousand dollars, though it offers less power than those rivals’ up-spec engines.

    GWM’s pricing advantage bodes well for the Baja Snake, should it make the trip to Australia.

    The Ford Ranger Raptor, which also features Fox shocks and a raised ride height, is priced at $77,190 before on-road costs.

    The current Ute is priced at $40,990 drive-away in flagship Cannon-X trim, which offers a level of equipment comparable to the likes of the Ford Ranger Wildtrak and Toyota HiLux SR5+ costing around $20,000 more.

    MORE: GWM Ute news and reviews

    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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