Bigger GWM Cannon Alpha ute finally closing in on Australia

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It’s smaller than American pick-ups, but bigger than Australia’s most popular dual-cabs – and it could be one of the first utes to offer hybrid power here.

The GWM Cannon Alpha is the name of the latest ute to come from China, expected to arrive in Australian showrooms close to the middle of this year, Drive understands.

In late 2023, GWM (formerly Great Wall Motors) filed a trademark application for the Cannon Alpha name in Australia, for what could be one of Australia’s first hybrid utes.

The GWM Cannon Alpha is larger than the three most popular dual-cab utes on sale in Australia – the Ford Ranger, Toyota HiLux, and Isuzu D-Max – as well as its sibling, the GWM Ute.

However, despite boasting larger dimensions than most dual-cabs, it’s still quite a bit smaller than US pick-ups such as the Ram 1500, Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, and Toyota Tundra – bridging the gap between the two popular ute segments.

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In its native China, the dual-cab ute is available with a choice of a 2.4-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine or a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol hybrid four-cylinder engine – the latter which is understood to be borrowed from the GWM Tank 300.

Also available is a range-topping 3.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V6 engine – shared with the forthcoming Tank 500 – sending 260kW and 500Nm to all four wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission.

There are exterior and interior styling similarities between the GWM Cannon Alpha and Tank 500, the latter of which is due to launch in Australia in April or May, priced from $66,490 drive-away.

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Overseas, the Cannon Alpha comes with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 14.9-inch infotainment touchscreen, a premium sound system, two rows of heated and ventilated leather seats, a panoramic sunroof, LED headlights, and four-wheel drive from BorgWarner with a rear locking differential.

The ute also features a tailgate which can lower using hinges at the bottom – as with a traditional tailgate – or open in a 60/40 split similar to a side-by-side fridge, with hinges beside the tail-lights.

Drive understands the 2024 GWM Cannon Alpha ute is due to arrive in Australia in mid-2024, though final details have yet to be confirmed by the company.

Ben Zachariah is an experienced writer and motoring journalist from Melbourne, having worked in the automotive industry for more than two decades. Ben began writing professionally more than 15 years ago and was previously an interstate truck driver. He completed his MBA in Finance in early 2021 and is considered an expert on classic car investment.

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