The Great Wall Motors Tank 500 can be the replacement vehicle for those who are waiting for their Land Cruiser 300.
When it comes to diversifying choices for consumers, there's just no way anyone can beat the Chinese when it comes to affordable alternatives to some of the world's most sought-after cars.
The latest alternative to come out of China is the Great Wall Motors Tank 500, a four-wheel-drive barge, ready to offer consumers a cheaper and readily available alternative to the famous Toyota Land Cruiser (LC).
Revealed at the Chengdu Motor Show late last year, the Tank 500 is the latest model to come out of Great Wall Motor's new Tank four-wheel-drive brand, after the Tank 300, which in our opinion is their version of the Jeep Wrangler.
Coming in at 4,878mm long, 1,934mm wide and 1,905mm high and sitting on a 2,850mm wheelbase (identical to the LC300), the Tank 500 is nearly the same size as the latest Land Cruiser, the 300 (4,950L,1,980W,1,925H).
Just like the LC, the Tank 500 is built tough by utilising a body-on-frame platform borrowed from the Great Wall Motors family.
With tough exterior lines, a huge chrome-plated grille, and irregularly shaped headlights on both sides, the Tank 500 has been positioned as a luxury and off-road SUV.
The off-road emphasis is once again emphasised on Great Wall Motor's Tank website, where they reckon its "3.0T V6 + 9AT super powertrain with a maximum power of 260kW and a maximum torque of 500Nm meets the diverse needs of everyday use and outdoor off-road". They also claim that the vehicle can go from 0-100 in 7.3 seconds and achieve a fuel consumption of 10.79l/100km.
According to drive.com.au, "A third-generation switchable four-wheel-drive system features under the skin, reportedly capable of distributing torque between different wheels within 50 milliseconds".
"Drivers are said to be able to switch between two- and four-wheel-drive at speeds of up to 80km/h, while low-range modes, rear and centre differential locks, and up to 11 off-road modes are available to tackle various driving environments".
The Tank 500 is equipped with a coil-spring suspension system with differential locks on the front and rear and offers a ground clearance of 224mm as well as 800mm wading depth and an off-road approach angle of 29.6 degrees.
On the inside, the Tank 500 features a 14.6-inch infotainment touchscreen and is joined by a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. The interior is also laced with leather upholstery, faux wood inserts and soft-touch materials. There's also a peculiar crystal gear shifter knob, a la Volvo.
With customers worldwide having to wait nearly four years for the new Land Cruiser 300 (yes, the waiting is that long), perhaps the Tank 500 can fill in the gap left by the LC300?
The mega Chinese SUV is offered in three variants with prices ranging from RMB 335,000 (RM222k) to RMB 395,000 (RM261k). So LC or Tank?