Australian four-wheel-drivers can now switch to hybrid power, thanks to a tough new offroader from China.
Toyota is the king of hybrids but it has long resisted adding petrol-electric power to its range of four-wheel drives.
But Chinese brand Great Wall Motors (GWM) has done it, taking advantage of the recent boom in sales of hybrid SUVs.
The relatively new brand has just launched its Tank 300 Hybrid. It comes at a very respectable price of $55,990 drive-away for the base Lux and $60,990 for the fully loaded Ultra.
That price undercuts benchmark off-roaders such as the Ford Everest and Jeep Wrangler by some margin.
Power comes from a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine and an electric motor powered by a small battery. It is paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission and four wheel drive.
GWM doesn’t give combined outputs but the petrol engine makes 180kW/380Nm and the electric motor pumps out 78kW/268Nm.
It has generous approach and departure angles of 33 and 34 degrees respectively and 224mm of ground clearance.
The base Lux grade comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED head and tail lights and auto folding mirrors.
Inside it has plenty of standard gear including faux-leather seats and steering wheel, a 12.3-inch central screen compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a digital instrument display of the same size.
Interior highlights include a nine-speaker stereo, ambient lighting and a sunroof.
Its off-road focus is shown by underbody protection, a “tank turn function” that is claimed to shorten its turning circle and a transparent chassis view for navigating rough roads.
There are also a wide range of active safety features including vital items such as blind-spot warning, auto emergency braking and rear cross-traffic alert with auto braking function.
The Ultra boosts the Tank 300 Hybrid’s luxury appeal.
It brings Nappa leather seats that are heated and cooled in the front. Bigger 18 inch alloy wheels will impress as will a wireless device charger and an Infinity stereo.
A locking front differential will boost off-road performance.