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GWM Tank 500 2023: could GWM bring its large SUV to Australia as a cut-price alternative to the Land Cruiser?


GWM could be bringing a Toyota Land Cruiser rival to Australia, and it could considerably cheaper and more powerful 

At the announcement of GWM’s Tank 300 and Ora models, it was also suggested that much more is in the works over at GWM’s local HQ. 

Likely to be included in GWM Australia’s future plans is the Tank 500 large SUV – a clear Chinese competitor to Japanese mainstays such as the Toyota Land Cruiser 300 Series and Prado, and the Nissan Patrol.

While it isn’t officially confirmed for Australia just yet, GWM has stated that as well as having developed a 2.0-litre hybrid powertrain, a larger 3.0-litre hybrid unit has also been created for the Tank 500. 

GWM Tank 500 silver front 3/4 static
The GWM Tank 500 could be a serious competitor for the Land Cruiser or the Prado

GWM Australia has not yet revealed when the Tank 500 will arrive locally, however we could see the model by year’s end. 

The Tank 500 will help GWM target the large SUV market here in Australia after successfully launching models in the ute, small SUV and medium SUV segments so far. 

Tank 500 to use 3.0-litre hybrid drivetrain 

GWM Australia has stated that the Tank 500 fits a 3.0-litre petrol-electric hybrid powertrain outputting 260kW and 500Nm.

GWM Tank 500 silver front 3/4
We can see hints of Land Cruiser and Patrol in the design of the new Tank 500

The V6 hybrid setup will be mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission and will be capable of towing up to 2500kg. 

GWM also says that hybrid systems can be mated to the aforementioned V6 engine. In plug-in hybrid guise, a 19.94kWh battery provides power to assist the engine. For a HEV model, a 1.75kWh battery pack is in place to assist. 

However, GWM has also stated that this 3.0-litre hybrid powertrain is capable of producing much more power within the same platform. The automaker quotes power can be ramped up to as much as 380kW.

GWM Tank 500 silver side profile studio shot
Tank 500 scores a 3.0-litre hybrid V6 engine with 260kW of power

That makes the 227kW/700Nm 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 diesel engine from the Land Cruiser seem a little tame, though the Patrol comes closer with 298kW/560Nm

Official specifications for the Australian market are still yet to be confirmed for the GWM Tank 500. 

GWM Tank 500 could greatly undercut competitors 

With the Land Cruiser 300 Series starting now from $92,681 before on-road costs and the Nissan Patrol starting from $82,160 before on-road costs, the upcoming Tank 500 could undercut either of these cars in terms of price when it arrives locally. 

GWM Tank 500 interior wide shot
Inside the brand-new GWM Tank 500

With the newly-announced Tank 300 model set to cost $55,990 driveaway in entry Lux hybrid form, Chasing Cars can speculate that a more expensive and luxury Tank 500 could cost between $75k – $85k driveaway – easily beating both the Toyota and Nissan in terms of price. 

But the Tank 500 could also best the two mainstays in terms of performance, too. 

For reference, the Toyota Land Cruiser 300 Series uses a 227kW/700Nm twin-turbo diesel V6 engine, while the Y62 Nissan Patrol uses a 5.6-litre naturally-aspirated V8 engine that produces 298kW/560Nm

GWM Tank 500 side profile silver
Rear-mounted wheel is very Prado-esque

Tank 500 will be the most luxurious of the range 

The Tank 500 will be one of the most luxurious GWM products if launched for the Australian market. 

Standard features could include a large 14.6-inch touchscreen with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, along with a heated leather steering wheel and wireless phone charging. 

But the Tank 500 is also likely to be nicely trimmed, with wood finishes throughout and a crystal gear shifter. Nappa leather seats are also set to feature.

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