This is China's entry into the competitive large SUV segment.
Great Wall Motor is a manufacturer that doesn't have any presence here in the USA, but it is one of the fastest-growing manufacturers globally. In a short period, the group has expanded its portfolio into everything from semi-premium crossovers via the Haval brand to quirky but cheeky little EVs through its Ora division. One of its more exciting branches is the Tank range which features roughed SUVs with a touch of class.
The latest to join this stable is the Tank 500. We first caught a glimpse of this last year at the Chengdu Auto Show as a flagship off-roader set to tackle the likes of Toyota and Ford. This exciting SUV has now been launched in its local market as China's very own Toyota Sequoia of sorts. This is a car created for the Chinese people, but seeing that manufacturers from this region are becoming more globally prevalent, maybe we'll see this left-field option enter more competitive markets.
The Tank 500 can be had in four different trims that cater to varying customers. The entry-level offering starts at about $52,500 and tops off at about $62,000 for the flagship Custom trim. All models are powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 gasoline engine supported by a 48-volt mild-hybrid motor positioned in the nine-speed automatic transmission.
Impressively, this powertrain was developed entirely in-house by GWM which is a decision that has become a rarity as the automotive world progresses to electrification. Across all models, a power output of 349 horsepower and 367 lb-ft of torque has been quoted. This grants it a 0-62 mph time of 7.3 seconds.
The Tank 500 employs an intelligent 4x4 system with 11 driving mode settings, allowing it to cater to a variety of conditions. Tank CEO Liu Yanzhao explains that the reason for developing an all-new powertrain was so that the company could create a product that would challenge China's "import monopoly" in the large SUV segment.
To ensure a premium cabin experience, the seats and trimmings have been covered in Nappa leather and fitted with a plethora of comfort features including seat massaging, heating, and ventilation for the front and rear bench. The highlight of the interior experience is the advanced 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 14.6-inch touchscreen infotainment system that can be controlled via a rotary dial located just behind the gear selector.