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GWM Tank brand preparing hybrid, PHEV rollout


GWM’s (Australia-bound) new Tank brand is preparing an army of electrified vehicles.

The Chinese company will reveal a hybrid version of the GWM Tank 300 SUV and a plug-in hybrid version of the larger 500 SUV at the Chengdu motor show, which starts on August 26.

While GWM has yet to confirm specific Tank models for Australia, the company still has plans to introduce the brand here along with the GWM Ora electric vehicle brand. Both are expected to arrive in 2023.

Specifications of the new electrified powertrains have been revealed in a GWM slide deck, shared across Chinese media.

The smaller 300 hybrid will use a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor, with total system outputs of 224kW and 648Nm.

It will use a nine-speed automatic transmission and a 1.7kWh battery, with a claimed 0-100km/h time of 7.9 seconds.

The standard 300, an example of which was brought here for evaluation purposes, uses a turbocharged 2.0-litre with 167kW, 385Nm, and a 0-100km/h time of 9.5 seconds. The body-on-frame SUV is slightly shorter than the likes of the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.

The larger 500, which sits between a Toyota LandCruiser Prado and 300 Series in size, has already been revealed in normal hybrid guise in Thailand.

The upcoming plug-in hybrid 500 will, like the hybrid, use a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine.

In the PHEV, it’s paired with a larger 19.94kWh battery and a nine-speed automatic transmission, with a claimed electric range of 50km.

The engine produces 180kW and 380Nm and the electric motor 129kW and 400Nm, with total system outputs of 309kW and 750Nm.

It’s 300kg heavier than the regular petrol-powered 500 due to the weight of the PHEV components.

The plug-in hybrid powertrain will feature a parallel mode, which allows the engine to directly drive the vehicle while the electric motor engages when you need a burst of power.

It also features what Tank calls a “picnic mode”, with discharge power of 4kW that will allow you to run camping appliances and the like.

Tank has already detailed an even more powerful 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 plug-in hybrid powertrain, which pumps out 389kW and 750Nm. This was previewed in last year’s flagship 800 SUV concept.

Hybrid and plug-in hybrid options have been proliferating in the large SUV market, even in more off-road-oriented models.

The Land Rover Defender is offered with a plug-in hybrid, which is finally making its way to Australia.

Likewise, the new WL-series Jeep Grand Cherokee debuts a new plug-in hybrid option which will be coming here early next year, unlike the plug-in hybrid Wrangler that’s off the table for Australia.

Toyota has long been rumoured to be working on a hybrid LandCruiser 300 Series, but it has yet to be revealed.

Among less rugged fare, the Volkswagen Touareg R plug-in hybrid is due in the first quarter of 2023, while you can already buy plug-in hybrid versions of large SUVs like the BMW X5 and Volvo XC90 in Australia.

MORE: GWM Haval to stop making petrol or diesel cars by 2030





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