The GWM Tank 300 has just started reaching showrooms, and its larger sibling mightn’t be far behind.

    CarExpert understands the GWM Tank 500 could arrive in Australia late in 2023, alongside the new Shanhai Cannon ute, and that petrol, hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains are all on the table.

    While it has yet to officially confirm the SUV for Australia, it has previously confirmed the Tank 500 is under “very serious consideration” and that it was working on a business case.

    Two Tank 500s have also been spied in Australia this year: one a camouflaged right-hand drive example, the other an undisguised left-hand drive plug-in hybrid one.

    The Tank 500 measures 5070mm long, 1934mm wide and 1905mm tall on a 2750mm wheelbase. In contrast, the Toyota LandCruiser Prado is 4995mm long, 1885mm wide, 1890mm tall, and has a 2790mm wheelbase.

    The ladder-frame SUV was first revealed in August 2021 at the Chengdu motor show with a 3.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V6.

    The V6 features a 48V mild-hybrid system, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and total outputs of 260kW of power and 500Nm of torque sent through a four-wheel drive system.

    The hybrid uses a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, an electric motor housed within the nine-speed automatic transmission, and a 1.7kWh battery pack. Total system outputs are 180kW and 380Nm.

    The Tank 500 PHEV was revealed in December last year at the Guangzhou motor show in China.

    It’s powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, an electric motor, and a 19.94kWh battery pack. Total system outputs are 300kW and 750Nm, which makes it the most powerful variant thus far.

    The 0-100km/h time is a claimed 6.9 seconds.

    The Hi-4T, as the plug-in hybrid powertrain is called, also allows you to power appliances at up to 3.3kW.

    Inside, the Tank 500 boasts a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.6-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

    Available luxury features include Nappa leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, and heated and ventilated front seats with eight different massage modes.

    The smaller Tank 300 has just reached showrooms, albeit only in petrol guise. The delayed hybrid will appear at dealers during the third quarter of 2023.

    The Tank brand was launched globally in 2021, specialising in rugged, body-on-frame SUVs. It has previously announced it aims to sell 350,000 vehicles globally this year and achieve the highest off-road SUV market share in China and third-highest globally.

    It aims to sell 500,000 vehicles in 2025 and become the top off-road SUV brand in the world in terms of market share.

    Tank sold 123,881 vehicles globally in 2022, making it Great Wall Motor’s third best-selling brand ahead of electric vehicle brand Ora (103,996) and premium crossover brand Wey (36,381).

    In Australia, however, the Tank brand – like Ora and Haval – are treated as sub-brands. Vehicles from each all have GWM branding.

    The Tank brand recently revealed the 400, similarly sized to the 500 but with much more aggressive styling. There’s also the Tank 700, which features similarly angular, dramatic styling, but which is fractionally larger than the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series.

    GWM Australia said earlier this year the Tank 400 isn’t in GWM Australia’s plans at this stage, while the Tank 700 is also understood to be off the cards.

    The company has been without a large, three-row SUV since discontinuing the turbocharged four-cylinder Haval H9 in 2021.

    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.

    Buy and Lease
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers