The next generation of LDV ute has been revealed in concept form.
LDV revealed the concept, aptly named New, at this month’s Chengdu motor show.
China Car News took these photographs at the show, which reveal a chunky ute with a bluff new front. It proudly wears the latest design language of the Maxus brand, as LDV is known in most markets.
There’s an imposing, chrome-laden grille bookended by tall, fang-like air intakes. The headlights are slim and there appears to be a slim, LED daytime running light that spans the entire front of the car, à la the Kia Seltos GT-Line.
The initial teaser suggested a unibody lifestyle truck in the vein of the upcoming Hyundai Santa Cruz, in part due to what appeared to be sweeping, flying buttress-style sail panels.
In the metal, however, the New clearly has a separate tray and the sail panels are merely an aerodynamic extension of it. And in classic ute style, the brand name is spelled across the tailgate in huge block letters.
Now the light has been shone on the shadowy teaser, we can also see big, BF Goodrich off-road tyres. There are also flared fenders and black plastic wheel arch extensions for a more rugged look.
Perhaps the most dramatic change between the current T60 ute and the New concept is the cabin, which boasts a large digital instrument cluster that adjoins the touchscreen infotainment system. The new D60 SUV, not sold in Australia, features a 15.0-inch touchscreen.
There’s also a monostatic gear shifter and distinctive citron-coloured trim across the dash, as well as what appears to be suede upholstery on the seats.
China Car News says the production New will be available in hybrid, electric and fuel-cell variants. It’s also expected to use the company’s new twin-turbocharged diesel engine, which can produce upwards of 510Nm of torque.
In the D90 SUV, the 2.0-litre four-cylinder oil-burner produces 160kW of power and 480Nm of torque.
The most powerful version of the T60 ute – the Trailrider 2 – uses a single-turbo version and produces only 120kW of power and 375Nm of torque.
LDV has yet to release official specifications of the New, though its appearance suggests we won’t have to wait long to see what the production version will look like.
The current T60 outsells its sole remaining Chinese rival, the Great Wall Steed. Great Wall Motors, however, has a larger, more luxurious ute coming to replace it next year.
The Ford Ranger-sized Cannon (above), as it’s known in some markets, has been revealed with a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine producing 145kW of power and 400Nm of torque. Great Wall has signalled an even more powerful version is coming, however, with up to 500Nm of torque.
The next-generation LDV ute will also face an updated HiLux and the new Isuzu D-Max and Mazda BT-50 twins, all of which will be here by year’s end. The next-generation Ford Ranger is due in 2022, with the related Volkswagen Amarok following.
LDV has been steadily growing in Australia. Though its T60 lives in the shadow of established utes like the HiLux and Ranger, the ute outsold the Steed and SsangYong Musso by more than six-to-one last year. In all, 3529 examples were sold.