Avatar photo

By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

GWM Chairman makes it official: Diesel Tank 300 on the way

Oil-burner will be shared with the imminent GWM P500 bakkie and is expected to produce the same 135kW/480Nm.

A turbodiesel variant of the Tank 300 is in the works due to ongoing global demand of the petrol or hybrid-powered retro-styled off-roader.

Introduced four years ago, the oldest model of the Great Wall Motors (GWM)-owned Tank brand has been motivated by either 2.0-litre turbocharged unit, or a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 introduced last year.

Shared with P500

Locally, GWM South Africa has only made the former units available with the latter, for now, remaining exclusive to the People’s Republic where its powers the limited edition Tank 330.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Battle-hardened GWM Tank 300 shows its softer side

This though will soon change as, according to China’s Autohome, GWM Chairman, Wei Jianjun, confirmed that demand had been such that an oil-burning Tank 300 can no longer be ignored.

GWM confirms four new models for South Africa
Known as the Shanhai Cannon in China, the renamed GWM P500 will be the first model to debut the diesel engine slated for the Tank 300 in South Africa.

In a video posted as part of a podcast on an unspecified Chinese social media platform, Wei said the engine would the same 2.4-litre used in the GWM King Kong Cannon and Shanhai Cannon bakkies, the latter arriving in South Africa later this year as the GWM P500.

Tank 300 diesel becoming a reality
In-house developed 2.4-litre diesel develops 135kW/480Nm in the incoming P500 bakkie.

Despite no further details being divulged, the approval means the diesel engine Tank 300 will most likely develop the same 135kW/480Nm as the P500, delivered to the ground through a nine-speed automatic gearbox.

Tank 500 next?

While the move opens-up the possibility of the diesel being used in the Tank 500 SUV, no information was announced as sales in key oil-burning markets such as Australia and South Africa have yet to kick-off.

Welcoming the GWM Tank 500 to South Africa
Tank 500 could, potentially, also feature the diesel engine at some stage.

Similar to the 300, the Tank 500 will only be powered petrol for South Africa, though solely with the HEV set-up that sends 255kW/648Nm to all four wheels through a hybrid optimised nine-speed automatic ‘box.

More soon

While an expected launch of the Tank 300 diesel remains unknown, expectations are it could well become a reality before the end of the year.

As such, expect it to be a certainty for South Africa given not only the segment’s preference for diesel, but also the engine’s presence in the P500.

NOW READ: WATCH: GWM Tank 300 impresses with its off-road prowess