GWM (previously Great Wall Motors) has unveiled the Black Bullet concept ute at the 2020 Beijing Motor Show – a potential challenger to the high-performance four-wheel drive pick-up market dominated by Ford's Ranger Raptor.
The Black Bullet is based on the all-new four-wheel drive GWM Ute, which is beginning to arrive in Australian showrooms.
Like the popular and successful Ford Ranger Raptor, the Black Bullet concept has some significant changes under the skin for improved off-road performance.
While the Black Bullet is only a concept, GWM does already have an off-road variant of its Ute in China with similar, aleit less aggressive, modifications.
Firstly, the Black Bullet's front bumper has been reworked into a new design, including winch compatibility and front tow hooks. Underneath bolt-on flares lives aggressive Nitto Mud Grappler tyres, much larger than standard and mounted onto bead-locked black alloy wheels.
There's also a snorkel, roof mounted LED light bars, and what looks to be a stick-on bonnet ornament in a carbon-fibre finish.
Underneath, more meaningful modifications continue: The upper control arms appear to be a forged design to help with suspension geometry, along with Atlas-branded remote-reservoir shock absorbers.
This design allows the shock absorber to carry additional oil in a separate canister, and can improve off-road performance and durability. Lower control arms and swaybar links also look to be modified items.
On the back of the Black Bullet is a big sports bar of sorts, which has a unique full-length design. It carries a spare wheel, and eliminates any side access to the tub.
Interestingly, the Black Bullet has a coil-sprung rear end with disc brakes, and an adjustable Atlas-branded panhard rod, which suggests the concept has a significant suspension lift. There even looks to be provision for a rear-mounted winch, along with some additional recovery hooks.
Without any official additional information, it's unclear whether the Black Bullet concept will pave the way for a high-performance variant of the GWM Ute.
Any information regarding the driveline is left up to our imagination, although it might carry the same 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine (120kW/400Nm) and eight-speed automatic transmission from the broader range if it ever reaches fruition.
Translated into English, GWM's Chinese website claims the brand is "working hard to become one of the three major pickup truck brands in the world".
Further digging on their native website indicates that the GWM Ute is available with a coil-sprung rear end for the Chinese market, instead of the leaf-sprung rear end for Australia, along with a more serious off-road variant.
This variant has locking front, centre and rear differentials for the ultimate in off-road traction, along with a snorkel, off-road tyres and a front-mounted winch.
As the GWM Ute is arriving in Australian dealers now, with pricing from $33,990 drive-away and standard 4x4 and eight-speed automatic across the three-variant range. Full price and specification details can be found here, and CarAdvice will have a first drive of the GWM Ute coming soon.