Jaco Van Der Merwe

Compiled by Jaco Van Der Merwe

Head of Motoring

WATCH: GWM P500 raises bar in bakkie game with clever tailgate

Access to the loadbin via standard drop-down door or two side-hinged barn doors

GWM is about to raise the stakes in the cut-throat South African bakkie game with the extravagant P500.

Bearing similarities to the Ford F-150, albeit slightly smaller, the P500 will usher in many firsts in the bakkie world.

Watch GWM’s multi-function tailgate

One of these is the multi-function tailgate. While it can drop down like a usual bakkie tailgate, it’s got a trick up its sleeve. It can also function as two swinging barn doors with hang on hinges on the sides.

The Citizen Motoring got a taste of this innovative design when GWM last month in Sandton gave a sneak peek of various incoming models. The multi-function tailgate turned out to be quite a hit among the attending dealers and media.

At an overall length of 5 445mm, a width of 1 991mm and height of 1 942mm, the P500 cuts an imposing figure. It has a wheelbase of 3 350mm and ground clearance of 224mm.

ALSO READ: First look at GWM’s new flagship P500 bakkie

GWM P500’s plush interior

It is one the inside where the GWM P500 is really going to set the cat among the pigeons in the bakkie game. The models on display in Sandton was fitted with features such as sunroofs, electrically reclining rear seats and 14.6-inch infotainment system.

Clad in leather and wood trim, the P500’s interior looks more like a luxury SUV than a bakkie.

The GWM P500 will be offered in a choice of two engines; petrol hybrid and diesel.

ALSO READ: What to expect from GWM’s incoming Tank 500 SUV

Hybrid and diesel

The HEV-badged hybrid will, similar to the GWM Tank 300, combine a 2.0-litre mill with electric motor and battery for a total of 255kW of power and 648Nm of torque. It will be routed to all four corners via nine-speed auto box.

The oil-burner’s 2.4-litre mill will produce 135kW/480Nm and will be mated to nine-speed automatic transmission.

The introduction of the P500 as the flagship GWM bakkie could see the current GWM P-Series replace the Steed 5 as the brand’s more affordable bakkie.

Pricing and specification are expected to be announced in the second quarter of 2024.

ALSO READ: GWM gives first glimpse of four new models coming to South Africa

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