Great Wall Motor will expand its new Haval H6 medium SUV range with the addition of a ‘self charging’ hybrid drivetrain before the end of 2021.
The electrified model will be aimed fair and square at the big-selling Toyota RAV4 hybrid, which now outsells the petrol-only equivalent.
The China-made H6 Hybrid will pair a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine with a two-speed electric drive motor and a small 1.8kWh battery pack that stores captured braking energy.
Total system power and torque outputs are rated at 179kW and a meaty 530Nm, fuel economy is expected to sit around 5.2 litres per 100km, and the claimed zero to 100km/h acceleration time is 7.5 seconds. Toyota claims 163kW and 4.8L/100km for the RAV4 Hybrid.
By contrast the current Haval H6 range (priced between $30,990 and $38,990 drive-away) runs an in-house 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol producing 150kW and 320Nm, and is rated at up to 8.3L/100km. You can read our Haval H6 review here.
The H6 hybrids to be sold in Australia will not – at first – come from the company’s newly opened Thailand plant, which was purchased from General Motors (it made the Holden Colorado). Instead it’ll be made right-hand drive in China to begin with.
Toyota’s success with the RAV4 hybrid over the past two years, a period of which it has been Australia’s single most popular SUV, has prompted competitor brands to offer electrified medium SUVs of their own. Especially given Toyota’s supply woes.
Subaru has enjoyed some success with its Forester hybrid (reviewed here), while Kia Australia has also told us it’s doing all it can to get a hybrid version of the new Sportage here by early 2022. The 2022 Nissan X-Trail is expected to get ‘e-Power’ hybrid technology too.
This type of hybrid has caught on with Australians because of its low cost, typically $2000 to $3000 more than a petrol-only drivetrain.
Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) with larger externally-charged batteries and electric-only driving ranges are pricier and therefore less popular, though there are a growing number of these coming to market.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is the clear leader and will enter a new generation early next year, but new rivals include the Chinese MG HS PHEV, plus there’s the imminent Peugeot 3008 PHEV and Ford Escape PHEV.
Haval will have a H6 PHEV available overseas but won’t bring it to Australia in the near future, it says.