China’s GWM is poised to expand its Ute range in Australia, with the familiar dual-cab pickup soon to be joined by a dual-cab-chassis offering for tradies and fleets.

Dual-cab-chassis 4×2 and 4×4 models have now appeared in government approval documents, indicating they’ve been certified for sale in Australia. The company previously mooted an arrival time for this popular tray option of early 2022, suggesting some delays have occurred.

Said variants are listed as having the same 3000kg braked towing capacity and 3230mm wheelbase as their ute counterparts, as well as a carryover 120kW and 400Nm turbo-diesel 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine.

“Exact timing [for the dual-cab chassis] is still to be confirmed,” said a spokesperson for GWM Haval Australia. “We are looking at other variants but nothing further has been decided on those at this stage.”

Also appearing in approval documents are a six-speed manual variant, plus a range of two-door models: single-cab ute and cab-chassis models, with a choice of manual or automatic transmissions and two- or four-wheel drive.

These variants have previously appeared in government approval documents but have never been confirmed for Australia.

In contrast, GWM Haval Australia had previously confirmed last November that a dual-cab chassis model with a dropside steel tray would come to Australia following the award of a five-star ANCAP rating, and initially mooted an early 2022 launch.

Many fleets in Australia require vehicles, for occupational health and safety reasons, to have a five-star ANCAP rating in order to be eligible for purchase.

The GWM Ute received such a rating last November.

It’s been without a cab-chassis ute since the Steed was discontinued in 2020, though that vehicle was offered as a cab-chassis only with a single-cab body.

“Prior to the 5-star ANCAP announcement, GWM Ute was unable to be considered by many corporates and fleets,” the company said late last year.

“But now that the rating is secured, GWM will strengthen its focus across these areas to add corporate and fleet buyers to the many thousands of satisfied private buyers that have taken home a GWM Ute since it was launched in late 2020.”

The GWM Ute is the third ute after the Isuzu D-Max and Mazda BT-50 twins to go up against, and pass, the latest 2020-22 ANCAP tests and thereby achieve a top rating with a current date stamp.

Among other bargain utes, the GWM has the safety edge. Newly upgraded rival the LDV T60 Max also has a five-star score, but against earlier 2017 tests that placed little emphasis on driver-assist features. The SsangYong Musso has no ANCAP rating.

Neither rival is available as a cab-chassis, though the LDV T60 was previously available as a single cab-chassis.

While the introduction of dual-cab chassis models will help fill out GWM’s local range, the brand has a much wider range of utes on offer in its home market of China.

These include the recently launched Artillery, an off-road-oriented, two-door version of the Ute with a higher-output 160kW/380Nm 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder, up 20kW and 20Nm on the engine used in most Chinese-market GWM Ute models.

There’s also the longer King Kong Cannon, which is “under study” for Australia and has been spied testing on local roads.

Measuring up at 5635mm long, 1880mm wide and 1815mm tall, the King Kong Cannon is more than 200mm longer than the existing GWM Ute.

It’s closely aligned with the LDV T60 Mega Tub, which measures up at 5680mm long, and features unique interior and exterior styling.

Despite the bigger body and styling that calls to mind the Ford F-150 and Nissan Titan, it uses the same 140kW/360Nm 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four in China as the regular Ute.

MORE: Everything GWM Ute

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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