GWM continues its rapid expansion into the Australian market, with the GWM Tank sub-brand about to arrive – where it will sell alongside the GWM Ute and various GWM Haval SUVs.

    Its first model is the GWM Tank 300 Hybrid, a boxy ladder-frame 4×4 sharing some of its underpinnings with the GWM Ute, but using petrol-electric power.

    MORE: China’s GWM breaks its export record, helped by Australia

    Prices kick off at $55,990 drive-away and top out at $60,990 drive-away, making it GWM’s most expensive vehicle in Australia to date.

    “The GWM Tank 300 is poised to become a strong option for those looking to explore Australian roads, tracks and beyond,” the company’s local arm claims, giving some insights into who it’s targeting.

    Power comes from a 2.0-litre hybrid pairing a 180kW and 380Nm four-cylinder petrol engine with a 78kW and 268Nm electric motor. GWM Australia says the towing capacity will be 2500kg.

    GWM’s Australian division hasn’t offered all the specs, but the company’s global site claims the Tank 300’s system HEV outputs are 224kW and 640Nm, and says fuel economy will be between 9-10 litres per 100km. We await Australian data however.

    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.

    Built on GWM’s global off-road platform, the GWM Tank 300 offers good ground clearance of 224mm, a 33-degree approach angle and 34-degree departure angle, and ‘torque-on-demand’ full-time 4WD.

    At 4760mm long, the GWM Tank 300 is an interesting size, being a bit smaller than an Isuzu MU-X and Ford Everest, but larger than a typical mid-size SUV. Another potential rival is the much more expensive Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.

    Tare mass is listed as a rather portly 2331kg in government documents, with gross vehicle mass of 2725kg,

    The Tank 300, like all GWM vehicles, comes with a seven-year and unlimited kilometre warranty, five years of roadside assistance, and five years of capped-price servicing.

    Tank 300 Lux Hybrid prices in Australia

    • Lux Hybrid – $55,990 drive-away
    • Ultra Hybrid – $60,990 drive-away

    GWM Tank 300 Lux Hybrid features

    • 17-inch alloy wheels
    • Auto-folding, heated exterior mirrors
    • LED headlights and tail lights
    • Daytime running lights
    • Sunroof
    • Two-piece under-body guard
    • Tyre pressure monitoring
    • Crawl Control
    • Tank Turn
    • ‘Transparent Chassis Function’
    • Front and rear parking sensors
    • Power driver’s seat
    • ‘Comfort-Tek’ leather seats
    • Microfibre and leather steering wheel
    • 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
    • 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system
    • 360-degree camera
    • Front and rear USB ports
    • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
    • Nine-speaker audio system
    • Ambient interior lighting
    • DAB+ digital radio
    • 12V power outlets (front and luggage cabin)
    • Seven airbags (front, side, curtain and centre)
    • Adaptive cruise control
    • Autonomous emergency braking
    • Front collision warning
    • Lane-departure warning
    • Lane-keep assist
    • Traffic sign recognition
    • Rear cross-traffic alert with brake

    GWM Tank 300 Ultra Hybrid adds

    • 18-inch alloy wheels
    • Nappa leather seats
    • Heated and cooled front seats
    • Power’s driver seat with massage function
    • Heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel
    • Wireless phone charging
    • ‘Infinity’ branded nine-speaker sound system
    • More ambient lighting colours

    The new Tank 300 is available in five exterior colours: Lunar Red, Hamilton White, Dusk Orange, Fossil Grey and Crystal Black.

    What we knew already

    Tank 300 models have already been spied in right-hand drive guise in Melbourne at GWM HQ.

    Tank 300 models in China offer low-range gearing and front and rear electromechanical locking differentials, plus a tank turn function and a creep mode. In addition to a standard surround-view camera, there’s also a see-through under vehicle view.

    Suspension is understood to be double-wishbone up front with a multi-link rear axle, and a full-sized spare is mounted on the tailgate.

    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.

    GWM actually imported at least one non-hybrid Tank 300 petrol to Australia in 2021, and held a media drive at a 4×4 park to show its abilities. It’s the black vehicle pictured.

    There’s also a burgeoning 4×4 community in China who are loving the Tank 300.

    GWM Tank itself sells a 300 Border edition in China, while our friends at China’s biggest off-road accessory importer, Yunliang 4×4, produce their own hardcore modified version – which sold 1000 units in three minutes earlier this year.

    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.

    MORE: Tank 300, China’s modified 4×4 a big hit, Australia could be next
    MORE: GWM Tank 300, meet China’s Jeep Wrangler off-road rival

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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