The next two years look set to be quite busy for Chinese car maker, GWM. Having recently introduced new turbodiesel versions of its Steed 5 and H5 models, and with the C10 compact hatch’s imminent arrival, GWM intends building on this aggressive product strategy by launching between five and ten new models in South Africa during 2013/2014. And as you’ll notice with the new models, stylish design appears to have been far higher up on the agenda. GWM has taken on Andreas Deufel as its Styling Design Director – Deufel previously worked for Audi and Mercedes-Benz. It would appear that GWM has taken a leaf out of the Korean car makers’ books…
This compact little car is essentially a crossover version of the all-new C10, which launches in South Africa this month. CAR magazine previously published a scoop test of the C10 (read it here), and the price has since been confirmed to be R135 000. It is expected that the C20R will use the same 77 kW/138 N.m 1,5-litre engine as the C10. Like the Geely LCX, it features a spare wheel on the rear hatch.
This compact saloon is one of GWM’s first “global” cars and has been engineered with Europe in mind. The styling is conservative, but neat, and as always the standard features list will be generous. The same 1,5-litre engine used in the C20R and C10 is likely to power this car. Overseas, manual and CVT (continuously-variable transmissions) are offered, but we’re likely to only get the manual.
This Honda Civic-sized saloon should reach South Africa early in the new year. Its interior design has a similar two-tier design as the Honda, and once again the standard features list is long. Although a C50 powered by the C10's 1,5-litre petrol engine is offered in China, South Africa will only be getting the turbocharged version that packs a meaty 110 kW and 210 N.m of torque.
This vehicle takes the Florid Cross idea to the next level, with more unique body panels and a more overt “SUV” design. It is based on the Florid platform and is offered with 1,3- and 1,5-litre petrol engines in China, but we’re expecting only the 1,5-litre to come to SA.
The marque’s more luxurious, larger SUV is a certainty for South Africa, but current demand in China has resulted in a waiting list even in its home country. Three engine options are likely, starting with the marque’s new 2,0-litre VGT turbodiesel (110 kW/310 N.m), and including a turbocharged petrol unit (apparently up to 160 kW/324 N.m) and a new V6 turbodiesel. Four- and two-wheel drive versions could be offered with manual or automatic transmissions.
GWM Haval IF
Now here’s something to raise some eyebrows. GWM’s BMW X6 inspired coupé-SUV is apparently destined for production and being considered for South Africa. It has a slightly longer wheelbase than the BMW and is sure to turn heads. Four-wheel drive versions will be offered, and the likely engines are the 160 kW turbopetrol mentioned earlier, and the all-new 3,0-litre V6 currently under development.
GWM Steed CL
Finally, GWM’s massive Steed CL pick-up (it measures 5 350 mm x 1 880 mm x 1850 mm) could also come to South Africa and dwarf everything else on the market. The CL (short for China Leading) is likely to be powered by the marque’s 2,0-litre 160 kW turbopetrol and 2,0-litre VGT turbodiesel (110 kW/310 N.m) engines. But we wouldn’t be surprised to see the new 3,0-litre V6 turbodiesel and V6 petrol engines also finding their way into South African versions, too.