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Great Wall Motors may not be the first manufacturer you think of when you think of a “large luxury SUV.” But the company is doing its best with the new Tank 500 that is aimed squarely at competing with the Toyota Land Cruiser, Lexus LX, BMW X7, and Infiniti QX80 large luxury SUVs.

The Tank 500 is a large luxury SUV from a new sub-brand of China’s Great Wall Motors. The company makes a variety of brands, such as ORA, which is selling “new generation” electric cars, and Haval, which makes the F and H series of SUVs that are competitors for the Hyundai Tucson and Santa Fe, as well as the King Kong Cannon pickup truck.

Tank is a newer sub-brand of GWM that focuses on SUVs. It makes the Tank 300 and several planned SUVs that aim to take on everything from the Mercedes G 63 to the Land Rover Defender.

The TANK 500 is China’s first entry into the large luxury SUV market

The new Tank 500 SUV from China's Great Wall Motors
Tank 500 SUV | Great Wall Motors

Chinese media has been covering the release of the new Tank 500 closely, as well as the announcement of the Tank 700, which seems to be a Mercedes G-Wagon competitor.

The company calls it a “mecha off-road SUV,” which brings to mind the giant robots from Japanese cartoons. It’s certainly mecha-sized at 16 feet long.

Though the company held a press conference to announce the Tank 500, details are still scarce. Its grille features a large shield. Its greenhouse is big and airy looking. The Tank website says it’s powered by, “a 3.0T large displacement engine.” Its turbocharged 3-liter V6 makes about 350 horsepower, and it’s mated to a nine-speed automatic. A hybrid electric version could be available soon, too.

The Tank 500 is getting a huge amount of attention in Chinese media.

Though Tank is trying to establish itself as an independent luxury SUV brand, its body lines scream Toyota Land Cruiser, or Lexus LX, while its interior says dressed-up BMW X7. Tank is certainly setting its sights high. But while the 500 is certainly large enough to take on the largest SUVs, it’s just a two-row SUV. The back seat looks like it was designed to be chauffeured in.

According to reports, the SUV will be available in several different versions, each with its own character, such as the Sports Edition, Business Edition, and Black Warrior Edition.

The base price is $53,000, and with options can reach $62,500.

The TANK 500’s little brother channels a vintage Land Rover

The Tank 300 is a smaller, Land Rover-inspired, two-row SUV sold in China.
The Tank 300 | Great Wall Motors

The Tank 300 went on sale in China in 2020 looking like a vintage Land Rover Defender, but with rounded-off corners. The SUV has the same rounded headlights and flared fenders as a vintage Defender, too. But, unlike the vintage Defender, it has some modern touches like Remote Park, which allows you to park it via an app on your phone. That means you don’t even have to be in the Tank 300 to park it.

The 300 is aimed at being Tank’s volume seller, and it’s aimed at a young thrill-seeking audience.

Large luxury SUVs also mean big profits

The Tank 500 was recently unveiled in China as a four-wheel-drive competitor to the Toyota Land Cruiser and Lexus LX.
The Tank 500 | Great Wall Motors

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In the US, big luxury SUVs don’t sell nearly as well as their smaller cousins. But, they have huge profit margins. The high-end luxury SUV market is hot across the globe and smaller companies are working hard to get in on the action. Companies like Aston Martin, Bentley, and now Ferrari are all angling to produce a luxury SUV that can serve the masses.

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Though it’s unlikely the TANK 500 will come to the US market any time soon, GWM is exporting the TANK 500 to Australia. it’s certainly an intriguing model from a new brand that is hoping to play on the world stage.