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Beijing motor show: Haval puts hand up for H4

By Daniel Gardner, 06 Apr 2018 News

haval h4 profile

Left-hand drive production scuppers mid-sizer’s Oz introduction for now, but Haval’s bargaining power is on the up, it says.

HAVAL Australia is keeping up the pressure on global parent Great Wall to continue the introduction of fresh metal to Australian showrooms, including a right-hand drive version of the all-new H4 mid-sized SUV that is due to make its debut at the Beijing motor show later this month.

Until the Chinese brand announces a right-hook version, the H4 will be limited to its native markets, but the model could offer a glimpse at how the local line-up will evolve, according to the company.

When asked if the H4 would neatly fit into the Australian range, Haval Motors public relations and product planning manager Andrew Ellis replied “Absolutely” and explained that, even though no right-hand drive production was chalked, the car represents the local outfit’s vision of the future.

“The good thing about it is you can see the development of the powertrain,” he said. “We’ve got a 1.5[-litre] in our H2 which is 110kW and 250Nm, this is a rework of that with 124kW and 285Nm through a seven-speed gearbox. That’s the combination we want here in Australia.”

Ellis revealed that as more right-hand drive markets offer the Haval brand, the business case to broaden the model line-up for Australia makes more sense.

“The good thing is, now having New Zealand and South Africa, we’ve got two more right-hand drive countries so our voice is starting to grow.”

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The larger H7 was due to join the current stable alongside H2, H6, H8 and H9 models but the plan was axed following confirmation global production of the seven-seater was due to cease.

According to Ellis, the H7 shutdown is necessary to lay the foundations for the forthcoming 2020 platform, with the Australian outfit setting its sights on the resulting new hardware instead.

The H4 will fill a mid-sized gap in the range between compact H2 and larger H6 models but offers a step up in technology and build quality. In addition to the more powerful 1.5-litre turbo engine and dual-clutch auto, the H4 features a fully digital instrument cluster, ‘floating’ 12-inch central display with ‘keyboard-style’ switchgear and 360-degree camera.

There’s also more driver assistance kit including lane departure warning, lane change assistant and tyre pressure monitoring.

Haval’s Connected technology completes the suite of new features and allows smartphone mirroring, emergency assistance, security monitoring and fault diagnosis remotely.

The H4 rolls out to the public in Beijing at the end of April.