A keen-eyed CarExpert reader has sent in some photos of what appears to be the GWM Shanhai Cannon ute that’s set to launch locally in the fourth quarter of this year.

    Slotting above the current GWM Ute, the Shanhai Cannon is larger, more premium, and offers a couple of different powertrain options.

    This spied camouflaged prototype is a right-hand drive prototype that’s fitted with a range of accessories including front two hooks, side steps, and an exaggerated sports bar. It appears to miss out on the barn-door style tailgate though.

    There’s also a blacked-out grille that’s different to the flashy chrome grille present on the Chinese-market version.

    We can also see the interior of the camouflaged prototype, which features a large infotainment touchscreen mounted high on the dash, a digital instrument cluster, and a driver monitoring camera on the A-pillar.

    CarExpert understands the Shanhai Cannon will be offered locally with both hybrid and turbo-diesel powertrains.

    The turbo-diesel is a 2.4-litre four-cylinder unit with 135kW of power and 480Nm of torque, following feedback about the 2.0-litre engine in the smaller GWM Ute feeling somewhat underdone with 120kW/400Nm. The new diesel engine will run a 48V mild-hybrid system too.

    The Shanhai Cannon will also come with a hybrid drivetrain – a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine mated with an electric motor. This is the same setup as the GWM Tank 300.

    It’s expected the Shanhai Cannon will have the same outputs (258kW/615Nm) as the Tank 300, and will have the same nine-speed automatic and on-demand four-wheel drive system.

    The GWM Shanhai Cannon will likely become the first mass-production hybrid pickup truck in Australia.

    It’s expected to be pitched more as a lifestyle ute alternative, but positioned at a higher price than the existing Ute model. That’s because instead of a leaf spring rear suspension, the Shanhai employs a multi-link coil-sprung back axle and double wishbones at the front.

    The Shanhai Cannon is only marginally larger than the existing model, despite looking considerably more substantial. It’s 5440mm long, so only 30mm over the Ute, but it’s still quite a big thing – 70mm longer than a Ford Ranger, for instance.

    At this point in time there has been no word on the other Shanhai powertrain for Australia, a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol mill producing 260kW of power and 500Nm of torque, backed by a 48V mild-hybrid system.

    It’s expected the model will sit above the existing Ute range in terms of price. That model line is currently topped by the Cannon Vanta, which is priced at $46,490 drive-away.

    Beyond the GWM Shanhai Cannon, the even larger King Kong Cannon ute remains under evaluation for an Australian launch. A wild 6×6 plug-in hybrid ute that was revealed at this year’s Shanghai motor show is also under consideration for Australia.

    MORE: GWM Shanhai Cannon hybrid, diesel ute here in 2023

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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