3-tonne towing, hybrid option, safety suite on the wishlist
Chinese manufacturer Great Wall is planning to release an all-new ute by the end of the decade, to go toe-to-toe with the likes of the Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok.
Speaking with Australian media in Darwin this week, the company - who is also parent to SUV brand Haval - revealed its plans to bring the larger, more capable utility to the Australian market.
Andrew Ellis, public relations and product specialist for Great Wall Motors and Haval Australia, said the new ute - which is as yet unnamed - should arrive locally around 2019 or 2020.
Given our market's thirst for the 4x4 ute in recent times, the company's local arm is putting several features high on the wish list, which will be vital to put the Chinese pick-up ahead of favourites like the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger on Australian shopping lists.
Among these features include a 3000kg towing capacity, both 4x2 and 4x4 drivetrains, a full suite of active safety systems like autonomous emergency braking (AEB), an eight-speed automatic transmission, and the option of a hybrid powertrain - the latter could make for an interesting point of difference in the segment.
The new ute would sit above the manufacturer's current offering, the Steed (pictured), and also provide Great Wall with a more lifestyle-oriented option in the line-up.
CarAdvice was shown an early frontal sketch of the upcoming ute, under the condition it would not be published. In terms of styling, the new model will feature a bold, aggressive face, though other design cues were few and far between.
Further details for the new model are still under wraps at the moment, though Great Wall and Haval Australia are determined to roll out several new products in the coming years.
In addition to the new ute, Great Wall will bring out a cab chassis version of the Steed in the first quarter of 2018, which will come standard with an alloy tray capable of carrying an Australian pallet.
The cab-chassis variant joins the sole dual cab body offered currently in Australia, which is available with petrol and diesel engines, along with the option of two- or four-wheel drive.