The GWM Tank 500 won’t gain a diesel engine option in Australia, despite most of its rivals offering only turbo-diesel power.

    The seven-seat four-wheel drive may, however, pick up a powerful plug-in hybrid option.

    “We’ve got to look very carefully at our powertrain selection in the coming years for the obvious reason; that we’ve got new vehicle emissions standards coming,” GWM Australia communications and marketing boss Steve Maciver told media.

    “If we were to bring a diesel, that adds a whole level of complexity [on emissions].

    “We’re not sure that the diesel, if it were available to us, would offer more in terms of drivability and capability for consumers – so at the moment, it’s not something we’re considering.”

    As for the plug-in hybrid powertrain offered overseas, it’s on GWM Australia’s radar.

    “It’s something that we can look at. [Tank 500 PHEV] is not necessarily available for us to take right here today if we want, but it is under consideration longer-term,” said Mr Maciver.

    The company already offers regular hybrid versions of its Haval JolionHaval H6 and Tank 300 SUVs, with the larger Tank 500 coming here exclusively – at least at first – with hybrid power.

    GWM is also expected to bring the Cannon Alpha ute here with hybrid power, while it already has one electric vehicle (EV) in the small Ora hatchback with another EV expected to follow.

    But while the company offers plug-in hybrids in markets like China and Thailand, none have arrived here yet.

    The Tank 500 PHEV has a 37.1kWh lithium-ion battery pack, an front-mounted electric motor, a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, and a four-wheel drive system.

    Claimed combined outputs are 300kW of power and 750Nm of torque.

    A plug-in hybrid Tank 500 was recently snapped at GWM Australia headquarters in Melbourne, and GWM Australia this week confirmed it’s looking at slotting in plug-in hybrid models to meet looming emissions standards Down Under.

    “The devil, of course, is in the details. We don’t know exactly what the final judgment of the announcement is going to be, but we do believe that GWM is well-placed with the range of vehicles that we’ve got today,” Mr Maciver told media.

    “Obviously, when we understand final outcome of the legislation, we will study that more closely, and if that means we have to look at other alternatives and other technologies such as plug-in hybrid, that’s something we can look at.

    “But I can confidently say… the level of investment into powertrain technology is impressive, and that gives us the confidence to stand here today and say we’re going to be relatively well-equipped to offer the right powertrain choices once we understand exactly what the new vehicle emissions standards look like.”

    Depending on which option the Australian Government pursues for its New Vehicle Efficiency Standard (NVES), the Tank 500’s turbo-petrol 3.0-litre V6 could be offered here.

    Offered in China, the V6 pumps out 265kW and 500Nm.

    “It’s a powertrain that we could have available potentially, but for [emissions regulations] reasons we’re going to have to consider very carefully what that means from an emissions perspective,” said Mr Maciver.

    “V6, probably, we think is not the right choice for us at this stage – but we’ll watch carefully, if we can make it work, it’s a consideration, but at this stage it’s not available.”

    MORE: Everything GWM Tank 500
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    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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