GREAT Wall Motors (GWM) has revealed it will be re-entering the 4×4 dual-cab pickup market in Australia with the all-new ‘Ute’ confirmed to be launching here in the fourth quarter of this year.
Details are still thin on the ground however GWM has revealed a few key titbits of information, the biggest of which being that the Ute line-up will consist of three variants; Cannon, Cannon-L and Cannon-X.
Visually, the Ute looks like something of a mix between a Toyota Tundra and Nissan Navara with a prominent slatted grille being flanked by reasonably low-set LED headlights.
From the front wings back, all of the body’s curves are gentle and gradual with most of the lines following the same path as those on the flanks of the current Nissan Navara, with matching chrome trim around the window lines.
Throw in some chrome sports bars behind the cab and the whole ensemble looks decidedly American rather than Chinese – a far cry from the previous GWM pickups.
While powerplant details are yet to be revealed save for the fuel type (diesel), GWM has confirmed the Ute will be offered in both manual and automatic forms, the former being a six-speed while the self-shifter will boast eight ratios.
‘All-terrain technology’ from Bosch will pair with an equally undetailed 4×4 system.
Under the skin is an independent front suspension set-up while the rear – as expected for an off-road ute – relies on heavy-duty leaf springs to maximise payload carrying capacity.
Inside there is a 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system boasting both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and on the top grade at least, leather seats and a surround-view monitor.
Standard safety kit detailed thus far includes lane-keep assist, front and rear parking sensors and dynamic stability control while certain variants will also score a step for easier access to the tub.
“Completely new from the ground-up, the GWM Ute brings significant improvements across a number of key areas including safety, design, connectivity, capability and comfort and is expected to be a key driver in volume and brand growth in the coming years,” GWM said in a statement.
“Exact features and specifications are yet to be fully disclosed but buyers can expect a high level of standard specification combined with compelling value.”
In order to be competitive in the segment, the new Ute will need to produce at least 130kW of power and more than 400Nm of torque and be able to tow around 3500kg.
Great Wall has previously said Australia-bound Utes will be offered with a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel mill producing around 380-400Nm and an unspecified amount of power, while a larger diesel is also expected to be offered.
In the future, both battery-electric and fuel-cell electric powertrains are possibilities for an eventual introduction.
Despite the relative lack of information, GWM says it has already experienced “strong interest from prospective customers” with some dealerships already being presented with deposits.
The Chinese brand has sold 1358 new vehicles so far this year ending September, 309 more than it managed over the same period last year.