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Great Wall Motors (GWM) has talked for some time about an all-new V6 destined to live in halo variants of its new Tank SUV products, and perhaps even its range of Cannon utes.
The V6 until now has been sparsely detailed, with only a 3.0-litre capacity, the confirmation of turbocharging, and maximum outputs of 260kW/500Nm mentioned.
Now, though, the brand has fully detailed the what and why of its unexpected hero petrol V6 powertrain it dubs the Great Wall 6Z30.
The new engine will use twin variable geometry twin-turbocharging and will have an exact capacity of 2993cc in a 60-degree V configuration with an 11.0:1 compression ratio.
The maximum torque of 500Nm will be available from just 1500rpm and remain to 4500rpm, with the maximum 260kW arriving at 6000rpm. It uses both direct and port injection, suggesting compatibility with at least mid-grade fuels.
The engine is an all-alloy unit, and it was already known that it will be exclusively mated to a brand-new longitudinal nine-speed torque-converter automatic.
This transmission is said to have been in development for 10 years, and Chinese media is reporting future Great Wall models requiring such a unit will cease using the ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic as is present in the current Great Wall Cannon ute, and will switch entirely to the new in-house unit.
The new transmission will have a slightly longer first gear than the ZF unit it replaces, while gear seven, eight, and nine will all be overspeed gears designed to reduce freeway-speed fuel consumption in a similar set-up to the GM/Ford 10-speed used in the 2.0-litre twin-turbo Ford Ranger and Everest variants.
This combination is said to be hybrid-ready, with a variant of the nine-speed automatic able to be fitted with an electric motor, and the ladder platform it will exist in capable of supporting a plug-in hybrid sized battery (with a capacity larger than 10kWh) and 48-volt electric architecture, with the possibility of an integrated starter motor (ISG) mild-hybrid (MHEV). With hybrid assistance the engine can be boosted to a maximum of 380kW/750Nm.
Great Wall says the combination will be complaint to Euro 6b emissions regulations in its standard form, or Euro 6d as a PHEV or MHEV. The new combination is expected to live in the brand's larger SUVs from its newly-launched Tank brand, including the LandCruiser-sized Tank 700 flagship, Prado-sized Tank 600, and perhaps even extending to high-end versions of the GWM Cannon ute.
It is unexpected that Great Wall would develop such an engine, as emissions regulations are closing in across the world on high-capacity powertrains.
The emerging trend of 3.0-litre inline six engines used by other Japanese and European manufacturers will likely be the last of their kind to be developed but are still required for some markets like the US where larger capacity petrol units still sell in large numbers.
It is known Mazda and Toyota are working on a joint 3.0-litre inline six engine for rear-drive applications aimed at large SUVs primarily for North America, which could live in the next-generation Mazda6, CX-5, and even some Lexus products.
Meanwhile, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Mercedes-Benz, and Hyundai Motor Group currently sell 3.0-litre hybridised inline six units in higher-end models and BMW soldiers on with its modular inline six unit.
It is of particular note that BMW, Hyundai, and the incoming Mazda/Toyota collaboration are able to field popular-in-Australia diesel versions of such engines, while the Great Wall V6 is petrol-only, at least for the time being.
Stay tuned as we cover the rollout of Great Wall’s off-road-focused Tank brand in Australia.