Chinese automaker Dongfeng’s rival for the GMC Hummer EV has been leaked.
The photo, shared on Chinese outlet Sohu, reveals a boxy and aggressive-looking SUV, with rugged touches like off-road tyres and an external ladder.
There’s a trapezoidal grille, while the cutouts for the headlights feature a slanted top border to give the SUV a menacing visage.
Car News China reports it’ll use a new dedicated electric vehicle architecture, but will also offer the option of range-extender powertrains.
It’s expected to bear the name Mengshi or Warrior (its English translation), much like Dongfeng’s Humvee-inspired military vehicle, the Warrior M50, to which the vehicle’s styling pays homage.
Dongfeng recently created a Warrior account on Chinese social media site Weibo, and the new vehicle could reportedly wear the M20 name.
Citing internal documents, Car News China reports Dongfeng will reportedly introduce three vehicles on the new EV platform, with the first, codenamed M18-1, set for launch in 2023. At least one of these will reportedly be a pickup truck.
Reports out of China indicate the M18-1 will feature a 140kWh battery pack, with power consumption of 26kWh/100km and 500km of range – likely on the more generous CLTC or NEDC test cycles.
The burly off-roader will reportedly produce 800kW of power, which will take it from 0-100km/h in less than five seconds.
The GMC Hummer EV produces up to 745kW in Edition 1 guise, also boasts a sub-4.0 second 0-100km/h time, and uses a 200kWh battery.
It’ll reportedly measure 5.2m long, or around 25mm longer than a Nissan Patrol.
In a twist for a large EV, where battery packs can add a lot of bulk, earlier reports indicated the first of the Warrior EVs will reportedly weigh 3100kg, 380kg less than the Warrior M50. That’s also almost a tonne less than a GMC Hummer EV Edition 1.
Production will take place at a new 485-acre facility at which Dongfeng broke ground in January, and which the company says will have an annual capacity of 100,000 vehicles.
Some reports out of China indicate Dongfeng may also be working on a petrol-powered – and potentially V8 – off-roader as a rival for the larger vehicles in nascent Great Wall Motors Tank brand’s lineup.
It’s possible the leaked image is of such a model, given the lack of information coming out of Dongfeng.
The SUV craze has well and truly swept sedan-loving China, with Dongfeng the latest automaker to introduce a rugged SUV brand after Great Wall Motors (Tank).
Chery’s Jetour brand, too, is planning a line of rugged SUVs under the T-Series nameplate.
State-owned Dongfeng is considered one of the Chinese Big 4 automakers with Changan, FAW Group and SAIC Motor, the latter the parent company of MG and LDV among other brands.
It has a joint venture with Nissan – Dongfeng Nissan, which produces the Navara-based Rich 6 EV – as well as Honda (Dongfeng Honda) and Stellantis (Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen).
The Dongfeng Renault joint venture was dissolved in 2020 and, with Korean car sales declining in China, Dongfeng sold its stake in the joint venture Dongfeng Yueda Kia in late 2021.