The recent Chengdu Motor Show in China was somewhat overshadowed by the Frankfurt Motor Show, but at least one big reveal happened.
By now we’ve all seen Haval’s new P Series bakkie, which will be the main weapon in its arsenal as it takes the fight straight to Japanese bakkie manufacturers.
Leisure Wheels had a good look at the bakkie at last years Shanghai Motor Show.
The bakkie is available in 3 variants, a commercial model, a passenger version, with an emphasis on luxury and passenger comfort and a fully kitted 4×4 model.
The 4×4 model features nice to have kit like a winch, roof rack and snorkel as standard fitment and it runs on 18-inch wheels. The fitment of 3 diff locks, creep mode and a tank U-turn function further complements the 4×4 ability.
All versions will be offered with 2.0 turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, the details of which are yet to be confirmed. But expect around 120kW and 360Nm for the petrol and between 380 and 400Nm for the diesel model. Engineers are also working on more powerful, bigger displacements engines to supplement the 2.0 litre options. The choice of gearbox is either a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic. The passenger and 4×4 models can carry 500kg and tow 3500kg.
The bakkie adopts a totally new style compared to what we have seen from GWM before, with a tough, robust and aggressive look. The 4×4 version is equipped with a matte black off-road kit which includes a blackened grille, wheel arches, snorkel that add to its aesthetic appeal. The grille features a thick grey plaque, which incorporates LED headlights on either side.
The rear too features LED taillights on either side of a blackened tailgate. A slot underneath houses a ramp, which is easily attached to the tailgate to aid in the loading of motorcycles or other leisure accessories.
Integral to the design process was an interior as luxury as an SUV as opposed to a truck or commercial vehicle and the design team have pulled that off, this interior will be a great place to spend time in as it features all the latest technology, creature comforts and premium materials.
The commercial version is slightly more basic and features leaf-spring rear suspension for load-carrying ability. The passenger and 4×4 versions feature multi-link rear suspension coupled to coil springs for enhanced passenger comfort.
At this stage the plan is to launch the bakkie in South Africa before the end of 2020. Indicative pricing is around R400 000 for a 4×4 automatic diesel model and if GWM manages to get that right we are expecting them to seriously upset the South African bakkie market.
“Todays buyers are very savvy. There is less prejudice and they know what good value for money is,” said Phil Simmons, Havals design director. And that is spot on, build good products and they will sell well. The Chinese have most definitely arrived.