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New GWM Tank 500 coming to South Africa – What to expect

The new GWM Tank 500 is on its way to South Africa and is likely to launch “early next year” following the debut of its smaller sibling, the Tank 300, before the end of 2023, said Conrad Groenewald, Chief Operations Officer of Haval Motors South Africa.

Tank is the fourth badge to make its debut in the country under the Great Wall Motors (GWM) umbrella, alongside Haval, Ora, and of course, GWM.

While all these brands hail from the same parent company, they have different purposes and different core markets.

In South Africa, GWM exclusively focuses on producing bakkies like the Steed and P-Series, Haval does luxury SUVs and crossovers including the Jolion and H6, Ora is a source of new-energy vehicles with the battery-powered Cat hatchback to launch within the next few months, and Tank is for more rugged SUVs that can handle the great outdoors better than the city-slicker Havals.

What to expect

The Tank 500 was unveiled in September 2021, with GWM clearly setting its sights on segment leaders like the Toyota Prado.

At a length of 5,070mm, width of 1,934mm, and height of 1,905mm, and with either five of seven seats, the Tank is a sizeable SUV that features mild-hybrid architecture and is kitted to the hilt with luxurious features.

In Asian markets, the Tank is equipped with a 3.0-litre, V6, twin-turbo petrol engine with 48-volt mild-hybrid technologies altogether producing 260kW and 500Nm.

Power is channeled to all four corners through a torque-on-demand four-wheel-drive system and a nine-speed automatic transmission, with a rear-mounted electronically-controlled differential lock supporting traction in rugged conditions.

A ground clearance of 224mm, approach angle of 29.6 degrees, and departure angle of 24 degrees complement the Tank’s off-road arsenal, and it rides on anywhere between 18 and 20-inch alloy wheels.

More of a luxury SUV than a bundu basher, the Tank 500 boasts an impressive kit that rivals that of its competitors and then some.

The Chinese model is available in five trims, the base model being fitted with automatic LED headlamps with high-beam assist, an electric tailgate, keyless entry and start, three-zone climate control, electric and heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, leather upholstery, a wireless phone charger, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 7-inch control screen in the armrest of the second-row seating, and a 220V/400W power socket in the boot.

A 14.6-inch central infotainment hub is standard, too, providing Bluetooth, integrated navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, software over-the-air updates, and a 12-speaker audio system.

Moreover, the SUV received numerous assistance systems that take the load off the driver, including a 360-degree camera programme, front and rear parking sensors, hill-start and descent control, adaptive cruise control, front and rear-collision warnings, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, and traffic sign recognition.

Standout abilities on the more expensive models further include a heads-up display, massaging seats, rear-seat wireless chargers, a facial recognition system, phone-as-a-key support, intelligent evade assist, emergency lane keeping, a 360-degree drive recorder, and automatic parking.

The full list of South African specifications and features of the new Tank 500, including its pricing, will be released closer to its launch date.

GWM Tank 500

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