GWM's Defender rival is a Tank 300

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Retro style and a rugged platform for Chinese bakkie brand.

Influential Chinese automotive company, GWM, is going angular in its pursuit of adventure vehicle customers.

One of GWM’s sub-brands is Wey, and its latest product is the very indiscreetly named Tank 300. Although it does not ride on roller tracks, the Tank 300 is GWM’s idea of what a Chinese adventure 4x4 should be.

No doubt inspired by the revival of Land Rover’s Defender, and the Ineos Grenadier, Wey’s Tank 300 shapes a very boxy five-door bodyshell. Like the Ineos Grenadier and Land Rover’s original Defender, the Tank 300 has round headlights, with LED illumination.

The styling proportions and design details are all intentional, with a flat grille and angular bonnet juncture, dramatically extended wheel arches and a full-size spare wheel mounted on the Tank 300’s tailgate.

The interior looks an awful lot like anything you would encounter in a late model Mercedes-Benz crossover or A-Class. Those adjoining digital screens and vents are almost identical to Mercedes-Benz’s current cabin architecture.

Wey has not revealed the exact off-road capabilities of its new Tank 300, but we do know that it is should borrow engines from the Haval H9. That could mean the 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, boosting 180 kW and a 142 kW turbodiesel.

Like the Haval H9, this Wey Tank 300 will also ride on a traditional ladder-frame chassis, which should increase its appeal to hardcore off-road enthusiasts. It is unclear what the suspension configuration or collection of traction aids are, in terms of electronic wheelspin control and mechanical axle lockers.

The H9 is a proven platform, so it would make this Wey Tank 300 quite capable. GWM has not confirmed the global launch schedule or regional availability for its Tank 300, but there would definitely be some interest in its amongst South African off-roader seeking features at a fair price.

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