Hot on the heels of MG’s successful launch in India comes the news of the imminent entry another Chinese carmaker – Great Wall Motors. This is primarily due to the fact that MG’s feature-rich and large-for-its-price Hector has struck a chord in India, and Chinese carmakers are now more confident of impressing and attracting Indian buyers.
Based in Baoding Hebel, around 150km south of Beijing, China’s most successful SUV maker Great Wall is well on its way to making its presence felt in India. With a company already set up here, it is currently scouting for the best location to get a plant running. More importantly, it will showcase products from its successful brand Haval at the upcoming Auto Expo 2020. According to sources, the stand will have three of Haval's successful SUVs – the H4, H6 and H9 – on display. A couple of electric cars from sister brand WEY are also likely to be showcased.
The model Haval will focus on, and the one that is set for a 2021 market launch in India, is the H4. A model larger than the Creta, the recently facelifted H4 is a sharp-looking SUV with a clean new nose, an attractive stance and a side profile that reminds you of the Jeep Compass. The H4 shares its platform with the larger H6, it is 4.4m long, and is built on a substantial 2,660mm wheelbase. Power from its 170hp, 1.5 turbo-petrol goes to the front wheels, and it also has a dual-clutch automatic transmission to enhance the luxury appeal. There’s a smaller 1.3 petrol unit as well, and for India, the company could bring in a diesel that’s possibly sourced from Fiat.
The larger H6 is based on the same platform as the H4 but will have a longer 2,680mm wheelbase and an increased length of 4.6m. Haval’s highest-selling model, the H6 is among the most successful SUVs sold in China. It carries a clean European look, with an Audi-like grille and headlight combo, and a rear design that’s very German. The H6’s cabin is also impressive; the design is a bit asymmetrical but material quality and fit and finish are so good, they could give the Koreans and Japanese a run for their money. The H6, like the Hector, will be loaded to the gills. Expect equipment such as a part-digital instrument panel, 8.0–inch touchscreen, panoramic sunroof, curtain airbags, ESP, and even the possibility of a four-wheel-drive system. It is also likely to be powered by larger, more powerful engines, like a 2.0-litre petrol and diesel.
The largest SUV from Haval on display will be the 4.8m-long H9. A body-on-frame SUV that weighs 2.2 tonnes, the facelifted H9 comes with plenty of hardcore off-road kit. A rival to the Ford Endeavour and Toyota Fortuner, it gets a low-range transfer case, locking rear differential and 206mm of ground clearance; which means it could actually be very handy off road. There’s the same 2.0 diesel available and a 240hp petrol as well. The highlight, however, is the roomy and high-quality cabin that's loaded with kit Indian customers are likely to appreciate. It will be battle royal for sure when the SUV goes up against the MG/Maxus D90 – another body-on-frame SUV of similar spec and sophistication.
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