Great Wall Motors, or GWM, has been doing interesting work lately. We rated its all-new Cannon ute fairly highly last year, and now it’s unveiled a traditional body-on-frame rival for the Toyota Land Cruiser, called the Tank 600.
The Tank 600 comes with GWM’s latest 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder petrol engine, producing 260kW of power and 500Nm of torque and paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission.
This comes wrapped in muscular, squared-off styling that paints the 600 as a prime rival for the Toyota Land Cruiser. While dimensions are yet to be announced for the model, it’s expected that it will actually be closer to the size of the smaller Land Cruiser Prado.
It’s a handsome looking thing; the large chrome grille drawing clear family ties to the Cannon, conservative lines and neat surfacing giving it a classical side profile, and an external spare tyre showing that this is meant to be a ‘proper’ SUV.
This is the second GWM Tank SUV to be revealed, following the smaller Tank 300. It’s expected that a larger version, called the Tank 800, is in the pipeline for future release following the recent showcasing of a concept bearing the same name.
Along with keeping things like dimensions close to its chest, GWM has also refrained from sharing any pictures of the Tank 600’s interior or detailing what tech specs might feature within. It’s safe to say, though, that it’s likely to follow the same ‘high spec, low price’ model as the Cannon, and the models offered by GWM’s sister brand, Haval.
It’s worth explaining why GWM has decided to expand into SUVs. The brand has previously only sold utes, with SUVs instead sold as Havals (the updated H6 and all-new Jolion models are recent New Zealand arrivals). The GWM Tank range is designed to fill a new, more rugged and adventurous niche than the Haval range … uncharted waters for GWM and its family of brands.
Will it come to New Zealand? For the moment this remains unknown. However, given the popularity of SUVs in this country you would think the more rugged Tank line-up is a shoe-in for local showrooms.
What might push the project over the line is the fact that GWM has already produced a mild version and a hybrid and plug-in hybrid version of the Tank 600’s 3.0-litre V6. If GWM deploys this engine in its Tank 600, it could be one of the first vehicles of its kind to qualify for the government’s Clean Car Discount.