Great Wall Motor’s Tank brand, tasked with making more off-road-capable SUVs than sister brand Haval, has confirmed it’ll launch its first products in Australia during 2022.
Without stipulating which Tank models would come, the company also announced it would offer both full combustion and hybrid models – the latter making it a unique option.
“In order to provide consumers with diversified choices, the tank series fuel version and hybrid version will be launched simultaneously,” Great Wall said in a media statement.
“It will be the only off-road vehicle equipped with a hybrid power system in the Australian market,” it added. It’s worth noting that the Haval brand will launch two urban-focused hybrid SUVs in 2022 as well, based on the existing petrol Jolion and the H6.
So let’s make some sense of this: Tank is one of five Great Wall Motor sub brands, the others being GWM Pickup and Haval SUV (both sold in Australia), Ora (an all-electric brand arriving in 2022), and premium SUV division Wey (China-focused for now at least).
Great Wall Motor is making inroads into Australia, which has now become the company’s number-one export market by sales. So it makes sense that it would grow beyond just GWM and Haval, into offering Ora EVs and Tank 4x4s.
The confirmation of a hybrid suggests the first cab off the rank will be the Ford Everest-rivalling Tank 500, which comes with both a 3.0-litre V6 turbo-petrol V6 engine, or a 180kW and 380Nm 2.0-litre hybrid with off-road mode, all-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic.
The V6-powered Tank 500 is also available with front and rear locking differentials, as well as a low-range transfer-case, but GWM doesn’t mention these for the Tank 500 Hybrid.
Having recently retired the Haval H9 body-on-frame large SUV, it would seem that the Tank 500 might make an excellent replacement.
The interior of the Tank 500 range has a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.6-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
Beyond this model, the entry point is the Tank 300, an example of which has already been sent to Australia for evaluation (this writer has driven it briefly).
This boxy machine is understood to share much with the body-on-frame GWM Ute, and offers low-range gearing as well as front and rear electromechanical locking diffs. It has 224mm of clearance, 700mm wading depth, and a 33-degree approach angle.
The engine in China is a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol making 167kW and 387Nm, mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic.
A properly sorted off-road version called the Yunliang Tank 300 sold out in minutes in China, and as you can read in our deep-five here it’s no mere sticker pack.
There have also been radically styled Tank 400 and Tank 700 revealed plus an ostentatious Tank 800 plug-in hybrid flagship concept, though these have only been previewed as concepts thus far.
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