Great Wall Motor (GWM): Going high-five in Beijing

AFTER four years, the Beijing Auto Show 2024 was clearly missed with the scenario reflected in the horde of media and trades people crowding the pavilions housing the Chinese vehicle manufacturers.

This echoed the same scenario for the Chinese Formula 1 event held a week earlier in Shanghai (deferred since 2019) that saw a record spectator turnout for the three-day event.

It was also a show that was distinctively dominated by electric vehicles (EVs) with more than 200 models in all shapes and genres, leaving the internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and range pretty much overshadowed.

Great Wall Motor (GWM) with its huge stand, what with five sub-models under its wings, had five ‘new’ model launches over the two media days to expand market appeal.

The five brands are Haval, which became an independent brand in 2013 for GWM’s SUV range, Wey in 2017 for premium vehicles, ORA in 2018 for electric vehicles and Tank in 2021 for luxury off-roaders.

Its motorsport venture saw GWM taking part in the Dakar Rally with the Haval SUV in 2010 till 2014, finishing as high as sixth.

GWM’s automotive history is relatively young having been established in 1984 to make low volume production trucks before making cars.

It stopped making cars in 1996 to focus only on trucks and only resumed making automobile in 2010.

This carmaker also made its mark with its pick-ups, becoming the top-seller in the Chinese pick-up market from 1998.

Hi-4T 'Hybrid Intelligent 4WD’ .
Hi-4T 'Hybrid Intelligent 4WD’ .

The current Poer (pronounced Pao) pick-up range, no doubt, gained very much from GWM’s early involvement in this vehicle category.

According to GWM, the Poer’s popularity is well established by the sales statistics that show that for every two pick-up trucks sold in China, one is a Poer.

GWM also had collaborations with BMW in 2018 that saw a partnership producing electric Mini vehicles in China.

It also had other international dealings such as the purchase of the General Motors Thailand plant in Rayong province in February 2020 in addition to the one in India.

For the Auto Show, the first media day saw the launch of the new Wey 08 with latest Coffee OS 3.0 and All-Scenario Navigation Pilot, Tank 700 Hi4-T and Haval new generation H6 and H9.

The next day was scheduled for the ORA 2024 Good Cat with the GT/Ballet Cat Limited Edition and the Poer Sahar Hi4-T 2.4T commercial and passenger variants.

Wey Lanshan

As the top premium model in the GWM stable, the Wey is meant to provide first class comfort for the driver and passengers on the go.

It boasts unique dual-suspension zero-gravity seats, the only ‘in-class vehicle-mounted compressor refrigerator, immersive opera theatre sound experience, high-performance engine noise reduction and all-time cabin fresh air system’.

Wey Lanshan.
Wey Lanshan.

The sound package boasts a Harmon-Kardon opera-level sound system with a virtual 7.1 surround layout consisting of 14 speakers – four high, four low, four mid, one centre and one subwoofer.

This is further supported by 20 column surround speakers and a best-in-class 16-channel 1,600W high-power amplifier.

There is also a ‘deep sleep-level quiet performance’ with which at 120kph, cabin noise is controlled at a low 65dB for a more comfortable ride.

Tank 700 Hi4-T

Hi-4T stands for ‘Hybrid Intelligent 4WD’ that GWM says is a new hybrid technology that combines ‘intelligent features’ with a four-wheel drive.

The Hi4 system uses a dual-motor design with parallel and series connections between front and rear axles to allow for an ‘excellent driving experience’ with the performance of a 4WD system and the energy efficiency of a 2WD system.

Tank 700.
Tank 700.

A simpler summary is that of an electromechanical transmission system using two electric motors and engine power and intelligent Torque Vectoring Control to meet driving needs in all scenarios.

Combined with its luxury perception, the Tank 700 3.0T Hi-4T is aimed at providing top-tier driving experiences for off-road enthusiasts and urban elites.

With 616hp (385kW), 800Nm (850Nm for Limited Edition model) and sub-five seconds 0-100kph acceleration, GWM says the Tank 700 Hi4T surpasses V8 rivals in performance and parameters.

Haval H6 & H9

The Haval H6 has been in the market for 13 years and boasts monthly sales exceeding 80,000 units to rank consistently among the top 10 SUVs globally for five consecutive years.

GWM says the Haval H6 has maintained the highest user satisfaction for nine years having earned the trust and praise of more than four million customers in China.

This ‘national family SUV’ is also sold in 70 countries and regions globally, and is said to be a best-seller for 12 years.

The latest Haval H6 adopts the ‘Star River Aesthetics’ design language that features the ‘Guardian’s front face, starlight headlamps and star shield grille’ to exude a sense of technology and futurism.

Haval H6.
Haval H6.

GWM adds that the new designs were made while partially retaining the ‘golden elements’ of the third-generation Haval H6 styling theme.

Available with two power options – 1.5T and 2.0T – GWM says power advancements are made to achieve stronger power, better fuel economy and improved adaptability to various family scenarios.

The H9, the new generation flagship model, makes it global debut to interpret the ‘highest level of Chinese automobile manufacturing’.

ORA Good Cat GT/Ballet Cat

The ORA Good Cat, which would be renamed the ORA 03, is being featured with extended model variants to expand its customer appeal.

The GT version sports aggressive and bold body elements to exude a more dynamic character that transcends its soft overtone.

On the other hand, the Ballet Cat panders to the more whimsical side that should find appeal with those who want a more differently themed and lifestyle car.

ORA Good Cat GT.
ORA Good Cat GT.

It would have garnered greater attention had the Porsche-looking ORA 07 Shining Night Edition not been displayed nearby.

Who could resist going ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ with an eye-catching sports EV that has frameless doors, intelligent concealed door handles, adaptive electric rear wing and dome-style panoramic sunroof.

Added to that its 4.3-second 0-100kph acceleration and 705km range, one could marvel at its acclaimed ‘exceptional driving performance’ as well.

Poer Sahar 2.4T Hi4-T

The Sahar 2.4T Hi4-T is a new energy pick-up truck built on GWM Hi-4T off-road ‘super hybrid’ architecture and is already in production.

Positioned as the ‘world’s first high-end luxury off-road hybrid pick-up truck’, it combines the characteristics of high engine stability and strong electric motor burst to provide ‘faster highway acceleration and easier off-road escape’.

Poer Sahar.
Poer Sahar.

Equipped with a 2.0T +9HAT ‘super hybrid system’, the maximum combined power output is 480hp (300kW) and 750Nm to return 0-100kph acceleration in 7.15 seconds.

It has an electric range of 100km for urban commuting and adopts a regenerative system to charge the battery when it falls to low levels.

It is equipped with the Borg-Warner 4A+M Lock intelligent four-wheel drive system that allows it to ‘cope easily with various special scenarios’.
Autos GWM