The anticipated 2018 LDV T60 ute has been revealed at this week's Guangzhou motor show, offering a first look at the Chinese commercial vehicle brand's rival to the top-selling Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger.
An Australian launch for the LDV T60 has also been locked in, with local distributor Ateco today confirming the ute's debut will occur in the second half of next year. That will likely make it a 2018 model-year offering.
Full mechanical and capability details are still to be revealed, but, for now, LDV has confirmed that the T60 will be offered in rear- and four-wheel-drive forms, with the latter featuring selectable high and low ranges.
Petrol and diesel engines will feature, and although no specifications for those were released today, the company has confirmed that a 2.8-litre turbo diesel will sit at the heart of the range.
Three transmission options will feature, depending on the model, with manual and automatic options accounted for. Again, these units are still to be detailed. It has been confirmed, however, that drive performance modes will feature: normal, eco and power.
Two suspension heights will be offered, although specific design details for the T60's suspension setup have not been offered.
A braked towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes has also been confirmed, but further towing and load details are still to come.
The double-cab model shown here will be joined by extended double-cab and single-cab variants, and two tray lengths will also be offered.
LDV says the T60 is built on an all-new platform that features extensive use of high-tensile steel. And, interestingly, the company has also highlighted the use of new paint processes (whether new to the brand, or to the industry, is still to be confirmed) that has moved it to offer a 10-year anti-corrosion warranty.
Speaking with CarAdvice last month, Ateco boss Neville Crichton spoke highly of the LDV ute's quality.
“We are in the market with LDV, going two years – we don’t have to apologise for the product at all. The quality is fantastic, we see the quality of the utility right up there with the Japanese, and we would like to think we are better value and we are not selling it as a cheap Chinese vehicle,” Crichton said.
“We would see it a little bit under the Japanese but not by a great deal. Quality-wise, it’s already there. Size-wise, [it is] pretty close to a Ford Ranger.”
Above: LDV vehicles are sold under the Maxus brand elsewhere.
Full specifications for our market won't be confirmed for sometime, but Ateco has confirmed local buyers can expect to find a suite of safety features that will include six airbags, double pretensioning seatbelts, chassis electronic safety systems - which will likely include electronic stability control, traction control and electronic brakeforce distribution.
Parking sensors will also feature, along with a rear view camera, 360-degree cameras and a fatigue recognition alarm.
Ateco says it expects the LDV to achieve a top five-star ANCAP safety rating, but, as some have learned, the finest details can bring such expectations undone.
In Australia, the T60 will join compatriot Great Wall and its new Steed in representing China in Australia's hard-fought ute market, which has so far seen more than 150,000 sales year-to-date.