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GWM Ute Cannon Alpha 2024 pricing and features

Daniel Gardner

Australia’s first hybrid ute – the GWM Ute Cannon Alpha – arriving June 2024

GWM will add a new variant into its Ute ute range in June this year, introducing Australia’s first hybrid one-tonner and a new range-topping Cannon Alpha.

While Ford is poised to launch the nation’s first plug-in hybrid ute in 2025, the Chinese car maker is beating the Blue Oval and all other mainstream manufacturers to the electrified punch, with its new flagship Alpha variant.

Confusingly, while the new Alpha shares the Ute and Cannon nomenclature of the other GWM ute range, it’s a completely different model with a unique drivetrain, larger overall dimensions and different standard equipment offering.

Three variants will be available from launch later this year with the range kicking off with a 2.4-litre turbocharged diesel Lux version, priced from $51,990 driveaway, while a second more premium Ultra version is available from $57,990.

The new GWM Ute Cannon Alpha Ultra Hybrid grade

The headline hybrid however is only being offered as the Ultra and costs $64,990 driveaway.

It gets a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine bolted to GWM’s in-house designed nine-speed automatic transmission with the electric motor sandwiched in between.

With both petrol and electric working in unison, the combined system output is an impressive 255kW and 648Nm – more than Ford’s Ranger V6 diesel and just 37kW shy of the mighty Raptor – and, in addition to those beefy figures, its maker says a fuel efficiency figure of 9.8L/100km is possible.

In the case of the diesel, it also gets a nine-speed (albeit without the electric motor), produces a less headline worthy 135kW and 480Nm, and a still respectable claimed economy of 8.9L/100km.

The new GWM Ute Cannon Alpha Lux Diesel

While GWM is being vocal about the Alpha’s plus-size status, don’t get too excited if you were hoping for a bargain basement rival to the GMSV Silverado, Ram, Ford F-150 and Toyota Tundra.

With an overall length of 5445mm it’s 35mm longer than the ‘standard’ Ute, while its width of 1991mm is up 57mm but certainly not breaking into the segment above.

It does however, offer some generous load capacities in the current dual-cab market including 1100mm between wheel arches in the tray, 1520mm maximum width and 1500mm in length.

Depending on the variant, the Alpha can carry up to 821kg of payload while maximum braked towing matches the industry must-have standard of 3500kg. Where the Alpha makes a load bay point of difference however is in the Ultra grade’s tailgate which offers a unique 60/40 split barn-door opening as well as the more conventional bottom-hinge opening. A long or slow press of the release button decides.

Alpha grades gain a cool 60:40 split tailgate feature

Inside, GWM is promising ‘premium’ levels of comfort and convenience. Included as standard for the Lux are a multifunction steering wheel with paddle shifters, electric driver’s seat adjustment, dual-zone climate control, imitation leather upholstery, rear privacy glass, six-speaker sound system, wireless smartphone mirroring for both Android and Apple devices, while a 12.3-inch central touchscreen is complemented by a fully digital driver’s cluster of the same size.

On the outside its also gets LED headlights, illumination for the tray, side-steps and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Stepping up to the Ultra diesel brings even more kit including a panoramic sunroof, more power adjustment for the driver’s seat as well as six-way electric for the front passenger along with ventilation and massage functions for both.

There’s also an upgrade to a larger 14.6-inch central touchscreen, wireless device charging in the front, and part-leather upholstery. It’s exterior gets electric folding side mirrors and LED foglights.

The Lux variant gains dual 12.3-inch screens, Ultra gets 14.6-inch touchscreen

Finally, the top-shelf Ultra Hybrid represents the most generously equipped Alpha with a head-up display, heated steering wheel, colour changing ambient lighting, 10-speaker sound system and an extra wireless charger for rear occupants, while second-row occupants are also treated to seat heating and ventilation as well as electric adjustment. That’s about as good as rear occupant comfort gets in the one-tonner segment.

As well, the Cannon Alpha can be connected with remotely using the GWM app which allows owners to check things like fuel level and range, as well as switching on the air conditioning or starting the engine during hot and cold weather.

The company is offering two years free subscription to GWM’s online services, which will default to a paid subscription after that.

GWM has thrown a lot of safety at the Cannon Alpha, but it’s not yet tested by ANCAP

Safety systems are well represented for all variants with GWM’s full suite of driver assistance and passive technology offered for all three. Highlights include AEB with vulnerable road user detection, 360-degree camera and parking sensors all-round, seven airbags, lane-departure assistant, rear-cross traffic detection and braking, and traffic sign recognition to name a few.

Extra parking sensors front and rear, plus parking and reversing assistant are the only safety extras added if you opt for the Ultra Hybrid.

The Alpha is yet to be tested by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program, but GWM says it specifically equipped the Alpha with all the technology it would require for the full five-star rating including seatbelt pre-tensioners for the outside rear seats.

As for off-road credentials, GWM is pointing its most premium Ute firmly at the road less travelled with a good set of all-terrain kit offered throughout the range. Even at the entry point, the Lux diesel gets a Borg Warner transfer box with 4-high and 4-low, electrically locking rear differential and five driving modes.

Aircraft-like drive selector is a nice touch

The model also spent 12 months under testing and development in Australia to ensure it was well suited to our unique local roads and outback, which subjected the prototypes to high temperatures, deep water and dust, while other parts of the world provided temperatures as low as minus 40.

For the Ultra, a front locking diff is added, while all versions have an approach angle of 28.5 degrees, breakover of 19 degrees and departure angle of 23 degrees.

Finally, GWM is looking to complete the package with its Care 777 offering which adds a seven-year warranty, roadside assistance and capped price servicing for all new models.

GWM Ute Cannon Alpha 2024: prices in Australia

All prices listed are driveaway.

  • Lux Turbo Diesel: $51,990
  • Ultra Turbo Diesel: $57,990
  • Ultra Hybrid: $64,990