Sales of the LDV T60 ute are growing at pace, and 2021 should bring a further shot in the arm in the form of a more powerful and torque-rich engine.

    CarExpert understands the China-made T60 is likely to get a new powertrain sometime this year.

    LDV’s Australian distributor, Ateco, hasn’t confirmed much, but the smart money is on it being a new 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel four-cylinder producing 160kW of power and 480Nm of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

    After all, this engine has been engineered for right-hand drive and was put into LDV’s D90 large SUV last year.

    Those outputs are a significant jump from the current T60 powertrain range: a 2.8-litre diesel four producing 110kW and 360Nm in the entry grades, or a 2.0-litre diesel making 120kW/375Nm in Trailrider 2 variants.

    It’d push the T60 towards the top of the class in terms of power and torque, lining up against the Ford Ranger’s 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel (157kW/500Nm) and the Toyota HiLux’s 2.8-litre (150kW/500Nm), though short of the Volkswagen Amarok’s turbo-diesel V6 options.

    It’d also push the T60 past rivals like the Isuzu D-Max, Mazda BT-50 and twin-turbo Nissan Navara, all of which produce 140kW and 450Nm.

    The T60 would also outgun other challenger brand utes like the SsangYong Musso (133kW/400-420Nm) and GWM Ute (120kW/400Nm).

    “I know I’m expecting changes to T60 in 2021… what is available in left-hand drive often never makes it in right-hand drive because of conversion costs. We’re expecting ongoing improvements, [but] will we get the full gamut? I cannot tell you at this time,” Dinesh Chinnappa, Ateco’s head of Chinese brands, told us previously.

    Ateco is looking to double the market share of the T60 over the next few years to 10 per cent of the 4×4 ute market.

    We don’t yet know exactly when the updated T60 will touch down this year, while LDV’s next-generation T90 ute has yet to be confirmed for Australia.

    The updated LDV will arrive in the midst of a massive renewal in the ute segment.

    Last year, the redesigned Isuzu D-Max and Mazda BT-50 arrived in Australia, while a refreshed Nissan Navara and Toyota HiLux and all-new GWM Ute have also touched down recently.

    A redesigned Ford Ranger is expected to launch late next year, with the Volkswagen Amarok becoming its new platform-mate.

    MORE: LDV T60 news and reviews

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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