After 12 months of speculation, new government filings have all but confirmed that China’s four-wheel drive GWM Tank 300 is coming to Australia – and only with hybrid power, at least for now.
That 2023 GWM Tank 300 all-wheel drive is now far from a certainty for Australian showrooms next year with petrol-electric hybrid powertrains.
Regulatory approval documents viewed by journey point out that the Tank 300 – the first model for Australia under Chinese giant Great Wall Motors’ new Tank 4WD brand – has been approved for sale locally with a single four-cylinder hybrid variant.
journey has contacted GWM Australia to comment on when the Tank 300 will reach local showrooms. The automaker has previously said the model is “under consideration” for Australia.
While government approval doesn’t necessarily mean a vehicle would come to Australia, it’s highly unlikely that Great Wall Motors would have invested the time and money to ensure the Tank 300 would meet regulations – unless it was for local showrooms planned.
journey understands that the Tank 300 will be the first in a series of GWM Tank models to be unveiled in local showrooms over the coming years.
The five-seat GWM Tank 300 – marketed as a “GWM Tank” vehicle rather than simply “Tank” as it’s known in China – is due to appear in Australian showrooms sometime next year alongside a larger Toyota Prado, with the GWM Tank 500 to follow.
Pricing for Australia is yet to be confirmed, however a medium Tank 300 will cost the equivalent of AU$50,000 in China.
Of similar size to a Jeep Wrangler, only one version of the GWM Tank 300 five seater has been approved for sale in Australia: a hybridcombine a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with electric motor and nine-speed automatic transmission.
The GWM will be the first “conventional” hybrid all-wheel drive in its category; Toyota doesn’t offer hybrid versions of its larger 4WDs, the Jeep Wrangler is only a petrol V6 and the Land Rover Defender is more expensive and only a mild or plug-in hybrid.
Australian market GWM Tank 300 Hybrid will produce 180kW – Curiously, less than 44 kW for the Tank 300 HEV hybrid unveiled in China last month, which extracted 224 kW and 640 Nm from a 2.0-liter turbocharged hybrid system.
It is the same as the hybrid version of the larger GWM Tank 500 available in China, delivering 180 kW and 370 Nm from the same 2.0-litre turbocharged engine and hybrid system.
A non-hybrid 2.0-litre 167kW/387Nm turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine is available in overseas markets – but this is not destined for Australia. No sign of a diesel engine either.
The GWM Tank 300 Hybrid’s nine-speed automatic transmission – which houses the electric motor – is mated to a selectable all-wheel drive system with two- and four-wheel drive modes and low range.
Other highlights in overseas markets include front and rear locking differentials, off-road tires and a range of off-road drive modes. Whether all of these will be offered in Australia is unclear.
GWM claims an approach angle of 33 degrees, departure angle of 34 degrees, ground clearance of 224mm and a maximum wading depth of 700mm. Installed independent front and rear suspension.
The Tank 300 is 4760mm long, 1930mm wide and 1903mm high and has a wheelbase of 2750mm – approximately 120mm shorter in overall length and 250mm shorter in wheelbase than a Jeep Wrangler, but 40mm wider and 75mm taller.
Locally delivered models offer a choice of 17-inch or 18-inch alloy wheels and a braked towing capacity of 2500kg – less than a GWM Ute or a Toyota Prado 4WD, but more than many mid-size, passenger-car-based family SUVs.
The fuel consumption of Chinese models – under mild WLTC test procedures – is rated at nine to ten liters per 100 km.
Equipment available in China includes electrically heated and ventilated seats, leather upholstery, dual interior displays, a sunroof and a range of advanced safety features, as well as an airbag between the front seats.
That 2023 GWM Panzer 300 expected to arrive in Australian showrooms next year.
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