Ever wanted to own a tank? Well, you might get the chance to soon if GWM decides to bring its Tank 300 to NZ. Already confirmed for buyers across the ditch, the Tank 300 is a genuine 4×4 (think full chassis with low-range) that offers hybrid technology.
Styled to go places
Think it looks familiar? Yes, there are shades of Jeep Cherokee to its look, and a bit of Jimny in there too thanks to trademark 4×4 styling cues including big over fenders, the spare wheel on the side hinged tailgate and circular headlights.
The Tank 300 is just over 4.7m long, 1.9m tall and is quite wide at 1.93m wide. It sits on a 2750mm wheelbase, has 224mm of ground clearance while the approach and departure angles are 33 and 34 degrees respectively. It has a 2.5 tonne towing capacity.
Some Tank 300 hybrid specifications
It runs a 2.0-litre turbopetrol paired with hybrid bits (1.75kWh battery + 120kW/400Nm motor) to make 258kW of max power and 615Nm of max torque, which we suspect are absolute peak figures, available for brief moments at specific operating points. It has a 9-speed auto transmission.
It’s based on the ‘P71’ full frame platform (which also underpins the GWM Ute) with double wishbones upfront and a solid rear axle with coil springs.
Both the petrol and hybrid have low range, but where the petrol has the usual 2H and 4H modes, the hybrid runs a permanent all-wheel drive system. It can ‘EV’ on a light throttle and it switches between two hybrid settings to make best use of the torque for the situation.
Is it a Tank to drive?
As we only drove it very briefly off-road we can’t tell you how it goes on road. But it goes alright over the bumpy stuff, with plenty of ground clearance and articulation, and the usual clever dick bits with descent control and terrain modes. We managed a stint in both the petrol and hybrid models, the latter proving to have the smoother powertrain.
It has what’s needed for off road work; lots of torque from a crawling speed. Left in its AWD mode (rather than 4L) it did the job ably taking care of some reasonably steep and bumpy inclines more smoothly than the petrol model which was caught off boost a few times. Other helpful off-road tech includes a view of the road in front and underneath the Tank 300 thanks to the around view camera.
Does it have the usual GWM value?
GWM likes to say the Tank 300 gives the brand a unique proposition with a mix of luxury features and quality to go with genuine off-road ability at a competitive price point. In Australia, the hybrid version kicks off at $55,990 for the Lux and the higher grade Ultra is $60,990 which adds things like Nappa leather seats (heated and cooled), wireless charging and a nine-speaker Infinity system, front diff lock and auto parking.
What about the quality and safety?
Inside it is quite impressive with its dual 12-inch screens, plenty of soft touch surfacing and diamond-pattern stitching on the comfy seats. There’s the aviation-inspired gear lever too while the cylindrical air vents mimic Mercedes-Benz.
It has a range of active safety features and intelligent driver aids including all-speed adaptive cruise, autonomous emergency braking and lane keeping assist. The GWM Tank 300 was recently awarded a five-star rating by ANCAP.
When will it go on sale in NZ?
As to the Tank 300 making its way here, they tell us it’s under evaluation for NZ and to expect a decision soon. GWM is speaking to local dealers to see if there is an opportunity for it. While Australia will add the petrol model at a later date, we’d only see the hybrid, aligning with GWM’s journey towards ‘new energy vehicles’.
Its official consumption figures for the Australian market are 10.3L/100km (which would be higher when converted to WLTP rating), not great in the grand CO2 scheme of things, and so this would be a hybrid that likely cop a Clean Car fee of $3500 plus. There is some talk of re-homologating the model for Tasman Seas markets in the hope of lowering this figure to a targeted 8.3L/100km, potentially reducing the fee from thousands to hundreds.