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GWM Shanhai spotted in Australia, local trademark suggests ‘Cannon Alpha’ name

Great Wall Motors (GWM) has been spotted testing its upcoming flagship ute in Australia. Called the Shanhai overseas, it’s set to arrive on local shores in the first half of 2024 potentially named the Cannon Alpha.

The camouflaged-wrapped prototype was spotted in Sydney by a DE fan – thanks Aidan. It’s understood GWM is conducting some local tests before it plans to introduce the model here, although, GWM is yet to make an official confirmation. Local testing doesn’t always mean a local showroom entry is inevitable, but in this case it seems likely.

GWM very recently filed a trademark application for the name ‘Cannon Alpha’ in Australia, on October 23 to be precise. This seems like a fitting name considering it will be larger and more powerful than the current Cannon lineup. The trademark application is listed under Class 12, which covers complete vehicles.

The Shanhai overseas features a 3.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V6 producing 260kW and 500Nm. This would go nicely against the local field of dual-cab utes on the market. A 2.4-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder developing 135kW/480Nm is also in the mix, while a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol hybrid could also join our range, producing 258kW/615Nm like in the Tank 300.

2024 GWM Cannon Shanhai Alpha spotted in Australia

Although this prototype spotted here might not seem large, it is 1mm longer and rides on a wheelbase (3350mm) that spans 120mm further than the current Cannon XSR. It’s also 6mm taller and 33mm wider than the current Cannon XSR. At 5440mm long, it is actually 70mm longer than a Ford Ranger, and about 73mm wider as well.

The towing capacity is set to be around 3300kg according to overseas specs. A payload figure hasn’t been revealed, but it is likely to be higher than the Cannon XSR’s payload of 875kg, or 1050kg in the case of the Cannon L.

GWM Cannon Shanhai

Inside, the Shanhai features a 14.6-inch touch-screen system as well as a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. These are among the largest screens in the segment. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are likely, with clever surround-view camera technology, particularly for off-roading.

The prototype vehicle spotted in Sydney featured some off-road, adventure-style accessories, including a special front bumper bar and exposed recovery points, as well as a formed-in snorkel system. Such features might be part of an option pack for the expected Aussie version, or simply reserved for a top-tier variant.

We should know more soon as the Australian launch is tipped to take place during the first half of 2024. Check out the spy video below for more.

Brett Davis

Brett started out as a motor mechanic but eventually became frustrated working on cars that weren't his. He then earned a degree in journalism and scored a job at Top Gear Australia back in 2008, and then worked at Zoom/Extreme Performance magazines, CarAdvice, and started PerformanceDrive/PDriveTV in 2011 with Josh Bennis, and ran it for 12 years. He's now the owner and managing editor here at Driving Enthusiast.
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