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The Australian distributor for Chinese manufacturer LDV has confirmed it will be launching the T60 ute in Australia on October 1, with the D90 SUV to follow on November 15.

The T60 ute will be powered by a 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, developing 110kW of power and 360Nm of torque. Buyers will be offered the choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed auto, along with two- and all-wheel drivetrains, depending on variant.

LDV’s first pickup will also have the choice of three body styles in Australia, single cab, double cab and cab chassis – while a larger ‘mega cab’ could join the range later on – and two trim levels.

Safety features include six airbags along with the usual electronic driver aids like stability control, traction control, brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution – however, there’s no sign of autonomous emergency braking (AEB) or adaptive cruise control.

Australian models will, though, be offered with features like LED headlights with LED daytime-running lights, lane departure warning and a 360-degree camera system depending on the model.

Pricing for the T60 is still to be confirmed at this stage, but the company’s local arm has promised ‘very competitive’ positioning in the ute segment.

REVIEW: 2018 LDV T60 – Quick drive

Meanwhile, the D90 SUV will land in Australian showrooms six weeks after its utilitarian stablemate, with the local launch scheduled for November 15, nearly two months later than originally expected.

The brand’s first SUV will duke it out with the likes of the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento along with slightly larger rivals in the Mazda CX-9 and Toyota Kluger.

Sharing its ladder-frame chassis with the T60, the D90 will be offered solely with petrol power – a 165kW/360Nm 2.0-litre turbo to be exact – though a new turbo-diesel, which is currently under development, will eventually join the line-up.

The D90 offers 2-3-2 and 2-2-3 seating options in its home market of China, though it’s unclear at this stage whether one or both of these configurations will make it Down Under – our guess is that the more familiar 2-3-2 layout will be the sole option.

Like its ute cousin, pricing for the D90 is still to be announced, though you can expect the Chinese SUV to undercut its sharply-priced Korean rivals.

Speaking with CarAdvice at the Shanghai motor show in April, Dinesh Chinnappa, general manager for LDV’s local distributor Ateco Automotive, said to expect a small model range with high levels of standard equipment.

“I can tell you we are trying to stay away from too many variants,” he said. “I’d like to emulate that as much as possible for everything we do.”

“If you’re looking at a new brand, from anywhere, particularly in China, there’s a product price relativity that you have to achieve to give consumers enough reasons to want to buy it. Competitive means priced beneath the status quo of vehicles by at least 15 to 20 per cent.”

“The traditional hierarchy in Australia is Europeans, then Japanese, then Koreans. Chinese brands would slot under that. My starting point would be to look at the two Korean brands. They are our benchmark products,” he added.

Specifications for local models are yet to be detailed, though the Chinese market gets options like quilted leather seats, a 12.3-inch central infotainment system with satellite navigation and internet-based app connectivity, and a fully-digital instrument cluster.

In the meantime, stay tuned to CarAdvice for more updates in the lead-up to the T60 and D90’s respective October and November launches.

REVIEW: 2018 LDV T60 – Quick drive

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