Next-generation LDV dual-cab ute revealed

LDV has a new ute coming with a twin-turbo diesel engine and an array of safety technology, but it hasn't been confirmed for Australia yet.

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William Stopford
William Stopford
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Look out, Ranger and HiLux: there’s another dual-cab challenger coming from China, and this one’s packing twin-turbo diesel power.

Photos and information of the new Maxus T90 have appeared in Chinese media ahead of the ute’s official debut later this month.

Maxus is what SAIC Motor calls the LDV brand in markets such as China.

The T90 was first previewed in virtually production-ready spec at last year’s Chengdu motor show and will go on sale in China later this year, where it’ll be sold alongside the existing T60 ute.

Local distributor Ateco Automotive wouldn’t confirm whether the T90 was coming here but said it’s interested in any product available in right-hand drive.

Under the bonnet is a 2.0-litre twin-turbocharged diesel engine producing 160kW of power and 500Nm of torque, mated to a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission.

The four-wheel drive system has selectable low- and high-range modes, plus a 4WD auto mode.

The T90 adds a range of driver-assist features not available in the T60, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, automatic high-beam and autonomous emergency braking.

The T60 currently offers blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, adaptive LED headlights and a surround-view camera but lacks AEB.

According to Chinese outlet Sohu, the new ute measures 5365mm long, 1900mm wide and 1809mm long with a 3155mm wheelbase in regular-length guise, essentially unchanged from the T60.

A longer version, à la the T60 Mega Tub, has a total length of 5680mm and a wheelbase of 3470mm, and measures 1960mm wide and 1845mm tall.

The T90 has an approach angle of 27.2 degrees, a departure angle of 24 degrees and a ground clearance of 220mm.

That’s 5mm extra ground clearance than the T60.

Inside, there’s an interior that looks more SUV than ute, with a large 12.0-inch touchscreen and 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster in one conjoined, wraparound housing.

Two-tone leather upholstery is available, while SAIC will offer the T90 – in China, at least – with a smartphone app that allows you to remotely start the vehicle and adjust the climate settings.

The new ute wears LDV/Maxus’ new design language, with slim, horizontal daytime running lights, vertical headlights, and a bold, shield-shaped grille.

SAIC has also given the MG Extender, a Thai-built version of the LDV T60, a facelift resembling the new T90, suggesting LDV-badged versions could be getting a refresh, too.

LDV first introduced the T60 to Australia in 2017 and has seen its market share grow.

Last year, LDV sold 5581 T60 utes, up 58.1 per cent and good for a segment market share of 3.7 per cent.

That’s putting it ever closer to the likes of the 4×4 Navara, of which Nissan sold 9777 examples and held a 6.4 per cent share of the segment.

Distributor Ateco Automotive is aiming to double LDV’s market share in this segment over the next few years.

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William Stopford
William Stopford
William Stopford is a Journalist at CarExpert.
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