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GWM showcases fancy new Steed


THE GWM Steed 5 has always been one of our favourite bakkies, simply because it stays true to the idea of an honest, hard-working bakkie that won’t get frightened when you load a ton of cement on the back.

A more premium bakkie, imaginatively called the Steed 6, was showcased at the Johannesburg International Motor Show last week and it seems as if GWM is taking it in the other direction. For the first time in the history of its existence, the Steed might even be considered a rival to luxurious mainstream bakkies like the Toyota Hilux, Volkswagen Amarok, Mazda BT-50 and Ford Ranger.

We’re not entirely conviced by the styling, as it looks like an LCV crashed into the back of some American-built luxury car like a Lincoln, but it is growing on us. Whatever your thoughts on the subject of style, you can’t ignore the fact that it has presence and presence matters in the double-cab-bakkie market.

Because it’s aimed in the upper segment of the LCV market, the Steed 6 will have premium interior features like a touch-screen infotainment system, climate control, six airbags and a starter button. Further improving safety and comfort are ESP, hill start and descent assistance, a differential lock and an intelligent four-wheel-drive system.

Luckily the robust attitude has been retained. The Steed 6 rides on 17-inch alloy wheels and has a ground clearance of 200mm. This goes rather well with the massive 5 430mm length and 1 800mm width.

The concept has GWM’s proven 2.0-litre VGT powerplant (110kW/310Nm) under the bonnet, but the production car will be offered with a range of engines and transmissions when it arrives in South Africa during the course of 2014.

It’s also nice to know the Steed 6 will not replace the 5 when it arrives, but will rather be positioned as the premium option in GWM’s bakkie range.


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