Could this be China’s next Toyota Prado rival for Australia?

The Deepal G318’s unveiling in China brings the unique range-extender hybrid SUV one step closer to Australia, as its parent company invests in right-hand drive markets.

Deepal – owned by automotive giant Changan – has officially revealed the G318, its Toyota LandCruiser Prado-sized SUV, after it was previously shown in renderings and a Chinese government filing.

Measuring 4915mm long, 1985mm wide, and 1960mm tall on a 2880mm wheelbase, the G318 is 80mm shorter, 100mm wider, 115mm taller and has 90mm less between the axles than the outgoing 150 Series Prado.

Deepal quotes approach and departure angles of 27 and 31 degrees respectively, with a braked towing capacity of 1600kg.

Despite its rugged looks, the Deepal G318 reportedly doesn’t feature body-on-frame construction as off-roaders like the Prado do. Instead, it features unibody construction.

Unlike a traditional hybrid system which uses electric motors to supplement the more powerful petrol engine, the G318 adopts a range-extender drivetrain, with its 1.5-litre engine effectively acting as a generator to charge a small battery which powers its electric motors.

There are two variants of this powertrain: one with a rear-mounted 185kW electric motor, and a second which adds a 131kW electric motor to the front axle, combining for a total output of 316kW.

Deepal claims the G318 is capable of driving for up to 155km on electric power alone using its battery without the petrol engine generating charge. Previous reports have claimed the lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery is offered in a choice of 18.4kWh or 35.1kWh capacities.

Inside, there are suede-upholstered seats, door cards and consoles; a 14.6-inch infotainment screen; a smaller digital instrument cluster screen; and gold-coloured trim.

Boot capacity is listed at 818 litres with the rear seats up, and 1747 litres when they’re folded.

Deepal’s parent company Changan recently announced plans to spend A$379 million to construct a plant in Rayong, Thailand – where it plans to build 100,000 vehicles by 2025.

This factory is understood to be exclusively for right-hand drive vehicles, which aligns with the brand’s intention to export cars to markets such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK.

Changan trademarked the Deepal brand name in Australia in late 2022, but the company has yet to reveal more specific details on its local plans such as what the lineup will look like and when exactly it will arrive.

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