The GWM Shanhai Cannon will be offered with three engines in China, as GWM Australia confirms it is considering the new ute for local showrooms – a move that could make it one of the first hybrid utes to be sold Down Under .
The GWM Shanhai Cannon was unveiled at the Chengdu Motor Show, with the Chinese automaker’s take on the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux – but with a V6 petrol engine and a category-first hybrid power option.
And GWM Haval has wish-listed a right-hand-drive version of the full-size pick-up for Australia.
“We like what we are seeing and are already in discussions with the factory about the possibility of a local launch here in Australia,” said a spokesman for GWM Haval journey.
“While it’s too early to confirm anything further, we believe it could be a strong addition to the GWM Ute lineup on-site.”
Pricing is also yet to be confirmed, but GWM Haval dealers with knowledge of the new Ute say the company is targeting a sub-$60,000 starting price.
Although that price estimate is about $20,000 – or 50 percent – more expensive than the GWM Ute in local showrooms today, such a price would undercut the hugely popular Toyota HiLux SR5 and Ford Ranger XLT.
According to Chinese media reports, the Shanhai (not Shanghai) Cannon will use a body-on-frame chassis shared with GWM’s Toyota LandCruiser Prado-competing Tank 500, while its engine options offer more power and torque than the GWM Ute.
The flagship variant of the GWM Shanhai Cannon is reportedly powered by one 3.0 liter turbocharged V6 petrol enginesend 260 kW and 500 Nm via a nine-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels.
In addition to the V6 petrol engine 2.4 liter four cylinder turbo diesel and 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol hybrid Engines are ready to join the lineup, with the former rumored to offer 137kW and the latter 180kW/380Nm thanks to an electric motor integrated into the gearbox.
While the larger Ram 1500 pickup is available with a mild hybrid system, the GWM would be the first Ute in the US full-size pickup category available in Australia.
The GWM Shanhai Cannon is 5440mm long, 1991mm wide and 1924mm high with a wheelbase of 3350mm.
This makes it 30 mm longer, 57 mm wider and 38 mm higher than the GWM Ute with a 120 mm longer wheelbase.
While the GWM Shanhai Cannon’s tailgate can be used in the traditional drop-down manner, it can also be opened vertically in half, split in a 60:40 ratio, similar to some US pickup trucks.
The exterior of the Tank 500 4×4 appears to have influenced the GWM Shanhai Cannon, with the new Ute adopting a chrome grille and headlight design similar to that of its SUV sibling.
Inside, the GWM Shanhai Cannon comes with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 14.9-inch infotainment touchscreen, with the overall design borrowed largely from the Tank 500.
Upholstered in two-tone blue and cream wood grain leather, the interior of the Ute is almost identical to the Tank 500 and a step up from existing GWM models sold in Australia.
Front and rear row occupants are treated to power seats with heating and ventilation, while the Ute’s rear center armrest houses a wireless smartphone charging pad.
GWM Australia declined to outline a possible launch date, but dealers have been courted journey It has been said it could be available in local showrooms in six to 12 months, pending unforeseen delays.
“While no firm decision has been made, we are in discussions with the factory about the potential to bring it Down Under,” a company spokesman said journey.
“Let’s see what the coming months bring.”
If the GWM Shanhai Cannon goes on sale within this timeframe, it could be the first hybrid ute available locally in its category.