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GWM Shanhai Cannon 2023: bigger ute revealed with twin-turbo petrol V6 power 


This new Shanhai Cannon is larger, more powerful, and more luxurious than the Cannon that’s currently sold in Australia

Less than one month after adding the blacked-out Cannon Vanta to its local line-up, GWM has launched the new Shanghai Cannon pick-up at the Guangzhou Auto Show in China, revealing all the juicy details. 

Despite wearing a similar aesthetic to the GWM Cannon that’s currently sold in Australia, this Shanghai Cannon features some significant changes, including two new engine options. 

Though it’s yet to be confirmed whether or not this Shanhai Cannon will make it to Australian dealerships, this ute is pitched as an upmarket proposition that would likely take the fight to the Toyota Hilux as well as the all-new Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok pairing. 

2023 GWM Shanghai Cannon dynamic side
The Shanhai Cannon is slightly longer than the current Cannon ute

Is the Shanhai Cannon an all-new ute? 

As an all-new proposition from the ground up, the Shanhai Cannon sits on underpinnings that have been dubbed an “off-road tank platform”, which should improve its capability in the rough stuff.

As standard, the Cannon is already one of the longest utes on sale in Australia, and the Shanhai Cannon will be no exception, measuring in at 5440mm, which is 70mm longer than a Ford Ranger. 

Unlike the regular Cannon, this Shanhai Cannon uses a multilink suspension system in the rear, and ups its towing capacity to 3300kg, which represents a 300kg improvement. 

2023 GWM Shanghai Cannon top down tailgate
A split folding hard cover on the tray is one of the Shanhai Cannon’s tricks

In terms of engine options, the changes are significant to say the least, as both petrol and diesel options are new. Buyers will have the choice between a twin-turbo petrol V6 or a 2.4-litre turbo diesel engine, both of which are paired with a 48-volt mild hybrid system. 

It seems that this diesel engine will be the entry-level option, with 135kW and 480Nm. Though these aren’t ground-breaking numbers, they’re up on the 120kW and 400Nm that is currently offered from the Cannon’s 2.0-litre diesel engine. 

At the other end of the range is a twin-turbo petrol V6 engine making 260kW and 500Nm. Though this isn’t as much power as what’s currently offered in the Ford Ranger Raptor (292kW/583Nm), it eclipses the 184kW/600Nm from Ford’s diesel V6 models. 

2023 GWM Shanghai Cannon front 3/4 outdoor mountains
The flagship model makes use of a twin-turbo petrol V6 engine

Power petrol and diesel engine options in the Shanhai Cannon are mated with a nine-speed automatic transmission. It also gets a part-time 4WD system, with locking diffs at the front and rear. 

Though GWM didn’t reveal any electric or plug-in hybrid variants of the Shanhai Cannon at the auto show, the brand did mention that these powertrains are in the pipeline. 

Though it’s still unclear whether or not the Shanghai Cannon will get the same handy step in the fold-down tailgate as the Cannon, this new ute’s tailgate also has the ability to open from the centre. 

2023 GWM Shanghai Cannon interior dash
The cabin looks to be very premium in the Shanhai Cannon

On the inside, it’s clear that GWM is pitching the Shanhai Cannon as more of a luxury offering, with two-tone leather around the cabin contrasted by wood-grain panelling. There’s also a panoramic sunroof and a dash-mounted analog clock to round out the luxury features. 

In terms of tech, the pick-up gets a 14.6-inch touchscreen, 12.3-inch digital cluster, as well as a heads up display. 

Though GWM is yet to make comment about the Shanhai Cannon’s availability in Australia, it’s clear that the brand is looking to expand its ute offerings, with the Cannon Vanta recently joining the line-up.