Things that Great Wall Motors is known for: many different ‘specialised’ brands, and a comic obliviousness to how corny their car names sound. Case in point, say hello to the Haval Cool Dog.
It looks pretty funky, isn't it (P.S they also have a car called the Ora Funky Cat, called the Good Cat when it comes to Malaysia)? The Cool Dog clearly takes inspiration from boxier, ruggedised SUVs and off-roaders such as the Jeep Cherokee, Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon, Hummer, the Ford Bronco, and hey maybe even the 4th-generation Suzuki Jimny.
Personally, especially given the colour combo, it puts this writer in mind of the Toyota FJ Cruiser. Not a bad look at all.
GWM, as they’ve recently announced, will be coming to Malaysia in force with an arsenal comprising of various SUVs from Haval and Tank, pickup trucks from POER, and electric vehicles from Ora. There’s also a slim chance that the Cool Dog will be included in that line-up.
Though it may look bigger and bulkier in pictures, its overall length is just about exactly the same as the Proton X70, though it is a fair bit wider (due to those flared fenders) and taller in order to maintain that go-anywhere look.
In China, Haval’s catalogue also includes a bigger brother to the Cool Dog called, fittingly, the Big Dog. Larger and in-charge-er, it even has its different variants named after different breeds of dog such as Husky or Belgian Shepherd
Back to the Cool Dog, its powertrain isn’t exactly out of the norm either with a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine mated to 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox, though it’s got nothing to do with an eerily similar unit from Geely. Outputs are stated to be 184PS and 275Nm, which are sent to either the front wheels or all four.
For the time being there is no indication that the Good Dog…I mean the Cool Dog….is set to be sold anywhere outside China and it could take quite a lot of convincing for GWM to commit to making a right-hand drive version. Should that happen, only then might the odds of it coming to Malaysia be a little more promising.
So far, the Chinese automotive group has pretty much confirmed the local arrival of the Haval Jolion and Haval H6 in series or plug-in hybrid variations, mirroring their offering in Thailand. Alongside this will be their Ora Good Cat electric hatchback, which we’ve previewed below.
GWM should also be well on their way to constructing an assembly plant here as CKD operations were stated to be a major focus for their Malaysian assault, though it’s likely that initial batches of their cars will be fully imported from China or Thailand before that gets up and running.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.