If GWM’s Ute and Tank 300 aren’t big or luxurious enough for you, the Chinese brand will have two new products more to your tastes – if you’re happy to wait.
CarExpert understands the GWM Shanhai Cannon and Tank 500 are set in Australia in the first quarter of 2024.
These vehicles had previously been reported to be arriving late in 2023.
Slotting above the GWM Ute, with which it shares its platform, the Shanhai Cannon has more upscale appointments plus a range of unique powertrains.
It’s set to offer the first hybrid powertrain in the ute segment in Australia, which features a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine mated with an electric motor, a nine-speed automatic transmission and an on-demand four-wheel drive system.
In the related Tank 300, this produces total system outputs of 258kW and 615Nm.
Also expected to be offered in Australia is a 2.4-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine producing 135kW and 480Nm, teamed with a 48V mild-hybrid system, nine-speed automatic transmission, on-demand four-wheel drive, and available electronically locking front and rear differentials.
Available features include a panoramic sunroof, head-up display, power tailgate, heated steering wheel, semi-automatic parking assist, surround-view camera, heated and ventilated seats front and rear, and multi-colour ambient lighting.
There’s a full suite of active safety and driver assist equipment available, including highway driving assist, front and rear cross-traffic assist, blind-spot monitoring, and safe exit warning.
Less certain for our market is the flagship twin-turbo 3.0-litre petrol V6, which pumps out 260kW and 500Nm.
The Shanhai Cannon is expected to be pitched more as a pricier lifestyle ute. That’s because instead of a leaf spring rear suspension like the GWM Ute, the Shanhai employs a multi-link coil-sprung back axle and double wishbones at the front.
It’s only marginally larger than the existing model, despite looking considerably more substantial. It spans 5440mm long, so only 30mm over the GWM Ute, but it is quite a big thing, measuring 70mm longer than a Ford Ranger.
Further, GWM is all but certain to offer the Shanhai Cannon with the intriguing barn-door style tailgate, and is likely to also include the clever multi-lid bed divider that splits the tray into three separate compartments.
While GWM 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.
To that end, two Tank 500s have 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 current Toyota LandCruiser Prado is 4995mm long, 1885mm wide, 1890mm tall, and has a 2790mm wheelbase.
The body-on-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.
It was subsequently revealed in hybrid form with 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 last December 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.