The Middle East is a region where not a lot of new carmakers try to penetrate with off-roaders and 4x4 SUVs. You see, Japanese brands Nissan and Toyota have established a stronghold in that market with icons like the Patrol and the Land Cruiser.
Chinese car brand Great Wall Motor, however, is daring to take on the challenge. The company has just launched its Tank brand in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh, and along with it marked the arrival of the Tank 300. This is one of the Chinese marque’s SUVs, and while it’s not a direct LC or Patrol rival, it’s an off-roader that’s looking to give other 4x4s a run for their money.
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What the Tank 300 actually competes with is the Jeep Wrangler. Coincidentally, it does look a bit similar to the American nameplate with its retro-like round headlights and bulky bumpers and overfenders.
Under the hood, the Tank 300 packs a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine that generates 224hp at 5,500rpm and 387Nm of torque at 1,800-3,600rpm and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The vehicle is also equipped with a host of safety and driver-assist tech including hill-hold and -descent control, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist with lane-centering, and adaptive cruise control. Off-road capabilities are bolstered by a nine-mode all-terrain control system and electronically-controlled front and rear differential locks.
This is the first time that GWM’s Tank brand is being launched in a market outside of China, and boy, what a market it enters. The Tank 500—a luxury SUV that’s the real Land Cruiser and Patrol competitor—was also displayed during the launch, so that could easily mean Great Wall intends to bring that 4x4 to the Middle East as well.
What do you guys think? Should Toyota and Nissan take notice?
Photos and videos of the GWM Tank 300: