Origin story: The GWM Tank X is styled by Andrew Collinson, whose resume includes stints at General Motors, Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz.
GREAT Wall Motors (GWM) has teased new sketches of its newest Tank SUV model ahead of its debut at this month’s Chengdu Motor Show.
The unnamed Tank model, known for now simply as ‘X’, joins the 300 that is popular overseas and an obvious competitor to the Jeep Wrangler.
A single leaked images shows a model wearing Tank 600 badging ahead of the Chengdu show. It is unclear if this model is the production version of the “X”, or another new model that will join Tank’s rapidly expanding line-up.
GWM has already registered trademarks against the Tank 600, 800 and 900 nameplates, the latter expected to be offered with a petrol-electric hybrid driveline.
Penned by former Land Rover, GM and Mercedes-Benz designer Andrew Collinson, the GWM Tank X combines global and retro styling in a muscular package aimed at what its maker says is the “business luxury” market.
The Tank X sketches show the model adopts a hexagonal-shaped grille with strong chrome ornamentation and prominent Tank logo. The profile is clean-cut and muscular, with bold wheel arches and a smaller triangular rear window to exaggerate the lower portion of the body. The rear-end is uncluttered and features Tank’s trademark split tail-light design.
Built on GWM’s global Intelligent Professional Off-road platform, the Tank X is the first GWM SUV to be powered by the Chinese manufacturer’s new 3.0-litre V6 turbo-petrol engine.
Paired with a nine-speed automatic, the unit outputs 260kW/500Nm and uses a dual-injection system and Miller cycle that GWM claims to offer “excellent performance in power, fuel economy, reliability, and quietness”.
According to its manufacturer, the Tank X’s new nine-speed automatic transmission delivers fast shift speeds, smoothness, efficiency and light weight. It’s assumed further details will be made known at the model’s launch.
GWM’s global SUV range – including the Tank X – is under consideration for the Australian market. The Chinese manufacturer is already testing the waters with its Tank 300, which it has indicated previously will sit upstream of its Haval H6 and H6 Big Dog SUVs.
The 300 presents as an upmarket alternative to the Jeep Wrangler, with many styling cues borrowed heavily from the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. It rides on a shortened version of the ladder-frame chassis found under the GWM Ute, which underpins models occupying a 50 per cent share of China’s domestic off-roader market.
The Tank 300 was shown in Australia last year as a concept model under the Wey Tank name and has already been the subject of a comprehensive focus group clinic to gauge the opinions of prospective buyers.
If the model is successful here, it will become the third brand name under the GWM umbrella alongside SUV-maker Haval and the utes of GWM.
The off-road additions to the GWM line-up will assist in the brand’s rapid model expansion Down Under.
It is believed the Tank X could arrive as a replacement to the Haval H9, which is nearing the end of its lifecycle, but GWM still needs to crunch the numbers on its Tank model range.
GWM is expected to announce the model-name of its Tank X SUV and release further details at the Chengdu Motor Show, which begins on Sunday 29 August.
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