Is GWM about to give its Ute Cannon a bigger brother?
An eagle-eyed reader has shared images of what appears to be the GWM King Kong Cannon testing on Australian roads.
A GWM Haval spokesperson said the King Kong Cannon “remains under study” for the Australian market. It’s not unusual for carmakers to test vehicles on Australian roads, even if they’re not confirmed for our market.
Measuring up at 5635mm long, 1880mm wide and 1815mm tall, the King Kong Cannon is more than 200mm longer than the existing GWM Ute. It’s closely aligned with the LDV T60 Mega Tub, which measures up at 5680mm long.
Along with its longer bed, the King Kong sets itself apart from the smaller Ute with an aggressive front end that takes inspiration from the Nissan Titan.
The tail lights have more than a hint of HiLux about them, although the detailing of the wheels, grille, and body sides are all pure GWM.
In China, its maker says the King Kong is aimed at “young entrepreneurs”. Power comes from a choice of 2.0-litre engines: a petrol making 146kW, and a turbo-diesel making 123kW.
The current Ute is powered by a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel produced and developed in-house by Great Wall. It makes 120kW of power and 400Nm of torque, sent to the road through a full-time four-wheel drive system.
An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, and there’s low-range and a locking rear differential as standard.
Although it hasn’t locked in the King Kong Cannon for Australia, Great Wall Motor is looking to expand its range locally through both GWM and Haval, as well as two additional sub-brands.
Haval is expected to welcome the boxy Dargo SUV (called Haval Big Dog in China) Down Under before the end of 2022, along with the coupe-styled H6 GT SUV.
The Ora electric sub-brand is on track to make the journey to Australia, too, led by the Ora Cat 01 hatchback.
At the other end of the spectrum, the rugged Tank 300 is also expected to make an appearance in the near future.
Sales from both Haval and GWM are strong in 2022. It’s up 6.1 per cent to date, led by the Haval Jolion and H6 SUVs.
Thanks to Adrian De Angelis for the photos.