2024 GWM Haval Jolion facelift breaks cover for Australia - SUV VEHICLE

2024 GWM Haval Jolion facelift breaks cover for Australia

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Chinese car maker GWM may be preparing to double its small SUV range in Australia with a facelift for the current Jolion – alongside a new, more expensive Jolion Pro.

A surprise facelift for the 2024 GWM Haval Jolion small SUV has been revealed in Australian government certification documents ahead of showroom arrivals understood to be due by the end of the year.

Drive reported last month the GWM Haval Jolion could be replaced entirely by a new model sold in China as the Chitu – translating to ‘Red Rabbit’ – with petrol or hybrid power.

However the discovery of a facelifted GWM Haval Jolion suggests the vehicle may co-exist as a cheaper, non-hybrid alternative to the Chitu – as it will be marketed in South Africa, where, tellingly, the Chitu will be renamed to Jolion Pro.

Government documents seen by Drive show the facelifted Jolion wears a black grille, new front and rear bumpers with black trim, prominent black wheel-arch cladding, and a large ‘GWM’ tailgate badge replacing the ‘HAVAL’ script.

MORE: Could this Red Rabbit replace the GWM Haval Jolion small SUV in Australia?

It’s not clear if there have been any interior changes to coincide with the exterior facelift.

What suggests the facelifted GWM Haval Jolion will be sold as a cheaper offering is that it has been approved for sale in two model grades – both with a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine, and 17-inch alloy wheels.

The new look – designated as ‘A01 FL’ (facelift) in the documents – has not been certified with the 18-inch alloy wheels of today’s Jolion Ultra, or a hybrid system.

When applying to sell a new model, car companies typically homologate a wide range of configurations to avoid needing to go through part of the certification process again if they eventually decide to sell a version not covered by the original approval documents submitted to Australian motor-vehicle regulators.

Oddly for a seemingly ‘entry-level’ vehicle, one of the two facelifted Jolion models has been approved for sale with a sunroof.

GWM Australia is yet to confirm its plans for a facelifted Jolion.

When asked about plans for the Chitu/Red Rabbit/Jolion Pro locally, GWM Australia communications and marketing boss Steve Maciver told Drive: “Watch this space, there will be news in regards to this car.”

Drive understands the facelifted Jolion is due in Australian showrooms by the end of the year. Government approval documents are typically filed less than six months before customer deliveries.

The move to reposition the Jolion as a cheaper counterpart to the new Jolion Pro in Australia would match what is already underway in South Africa, where hybrid and manual-transmission versions of the regular Jolion will be deleted.

In South Africa GWM intends to delete the two middle-of-the-range Jolion models, slimming the line-up to two variants – the current base model, and the current flagship – according to local website The Citizen, to create space for a four-model Jolion Pro line-up.

The Jolion Pro measures 4470mm long, 1898mm wide and 1625mm tall – almost identical in length, but wider and taller than the regular Jolion. A 2700mm wheelbase is shared.

Both models are offered with a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, but it will develop 105kW and 210Nm in the Jolion, compared to 130kW/270Nm in the Jolion Pro – as well as the Jolion S sold locally.

The hybrid will become exclusive to the Jolion Pro in South Africa.

More details of the 2024 GWM Haval Jolion facelift – and 2024 GWM Haval Jolion Pro, if it is the name it uses locally – are expected in the coming months.

The post 2024 GWM Haval Jolion facelift breaks cover for Australia appeared first on Drive.

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