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First look: Great Wall’s 2009 wares

Slippery: China's Great Wall Motors will unveil this new-look Hover H5 at the Shanghai motor show.

Australia’s first Chinese brand to show 12 new models and new engines at Shanghai

1 Apr 2009

YESTERDAY GoAuto revealed that Great Wall Motors (GWM) would become Australia’s first Chinese vehicle brand after locking in plans to release two workhorse utes, a five-door city-car and mid-sized four-wheel drive here this year.

Today, the largest maker and exporter of commercial vehicles in the world’s most populous nation (and rival for the US as the world’s biggest car market) has confirmed it will unveil no fewer than 12 new models and three new engines at Auto Shanghai 2009 from April 20.

While not all of them will be destined for exports to countries like ours, it is clear that GWM’s Australian and New Zealand distributor, Ateco Automotive (which will also import Chery vehicles in 2009), will soon have an embarrassment of Chinese riches available to it.

Most likely of interest will be the three SUVs that GWM has revealed in its Shanghai motor show pre-release, which form a redesigned family of the Hover CUV (crossover utility vehicle), and the production version of the Wizard electric vehicle that was shown as a prototype at the 2008 Beijing Auto Show.

As previously reported, GWM will release 12 new models in China this year, and its first Australian foray will be spearheaded by the Sailor-based SA220 and Wingle-based V240 dual-cab utes in June, followed later in 2009 by the Florid light-car and Hover medium SUV.

61 center imageFrom top: The current Great Wall Hover, Cool Bear and Florid.

While the current Hover is based on a Toyota chassis and was the first Chinese vehicle to be sold in Europe in significant numbers from 2006, the all-new model family that will sprout from it will include the entry-level 1.3-litre all-wheel-drive Hover M1, the mid-sized Hover M3 and the full-sized Hover H5.

Similarly, the existing Hover will come to Australia powered by the same Mitsubishi-based 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that will drive the V240 ute, but Great Wall says it will also reveal four new self-developed engines at this month’s Shanghai show.

A Bosch-developed 2.8-litre turbo-diesel is expected to eventually become available in Australia’s versions of both Great Wall utes and perhaps the Hover. But it is not clear if the three new GWM-designed engines to be shown at Shanghai will be in addition to the four new engines and three new transmissions GWM said were self-developed when they debuted at the 2008 Beijing motor show last April.

They included three all-aluminium fuel-injected petrol engines with variable valve timing, plus a common-rail direct-injection diesel with variable-geometry turbo technology, while GWM’s own new transmissions comprised a four-speed automatic and front and four-wheel drive applications of a five-speed manual.

Specifically, there was the GW4G15-GDIT, which is claimed to be the only Chinese-developed supercharged, direct-injection petrol engine. The Euro V emissions-compliant 1.5-litre 16-valve inline four-cylinder features variable inlet and exhaust valve timing and electronic throttle control to produce 112kW and 210Nm of torque.

Then there is the GW4D20, a 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder 16-valve turbo-diesel engine that also meets Euro V regulations and delivers 110kW and 310Nm, while the 1.3-litre GW4G13 petrol four is Euro IV-compliant and offers 66kW/123Nm.

Finally, a year ago GWM unveiled the 1.0-litre 12-valve three-cylinder GW3G10 petrol engine that meets Euro V standards and makes 51kW/94Nm by employing dual-VVT, DOHC, an electronic throttle, plastic air intake manifold and electronic fuel-injection.

As we reported this week, Great Wall will launch four sedans in China in 2009, starting last month with the 1.5-litre Coolbear, which will be followed by the 1.3 and 1.5-litre Cross in May and a new 1.3-litre and 1.5-litre sedan, codenamed CH031, in October.

Both the Coolbear and Florid are available with Bosch 8.0 electronic stability control, but China’s and Great Wall’s first passenger car to reach Australia will come with both 1.3-litre and 1.5-litre power in its domestic market.

In addition, GWM says the five-seater Florid, which is undergoing Australian Design Rule (ADR) evaluation alongside the Hover and could go on sale here in just six months, will eventually be fitted with a 1.2-litre diesel engine, as well as automatic and continuously variable transmissions.

The Florid entered production in China in October last year, with standard equipment including five three-point seatbelts, front seatbelt pretensioners, a driver’s airbag, an anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), a deformable steering column, four-way adjustable front seats, power windows/mirrors and remote central locking.

Apart from the four new four-doors and three new Hover SUVs, GWM said it would launch a further two new SUVs and three new utes in 2009.

Read more:

Chinese off the menu – for now

Great Wall signs up for Oz

Great Wall looms larger

Exclusive: China’s Great Wall to beat Chery here

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