UPDATE: Shortly after this article was published, CarAdvice reader Chris alerted us to a Russian article with a number of photos showing the D90 without disguise, caught in Kiama yesterday. A second vehicle was spied this afternoon, again after this article had published.
As these photos show, the production D90 borrows heavily from the styling of its concept predecessor, revealed at last year’s Beijing motor show.
A bold grille design dominates the front end, equally bold in having clearly been inspired by the ‘3D’ version of Audi’s Singleframe grille design now featured on the company’s latest SUV models.
A wide centre and tall roofline hint at a commodious interior, with a large rear quarter window and rear screen set above strong haunches. A wide shut line can be seen along the height of the tail gate, although this may be down to pre-production details still to be tweaked.
Roof rails and deep red tail-lights round out the exterior styling on the vehicle shown above, although the blue example below shows a high-spec model with larger wheels, a silver faux-diffuser with dual chrome exhaust tips.
In the cabin, the D90 boasts a luxury-themed design, although material feel and fit is unlikely to match the established German premium players – just as its price is unlikely to reach such heights.
On interior design alone, however, the D90 could prove a compelling alternative to the current volume-selling seven-seat off-road field. The BMW-like wide centre display, if nothing else, will easily set the D90 apart from its competition.
BELOW: The remainder of the original article is unchanged.
The upcoming LDV D90 SUV has been making its way around Sydney and surrounds, ahead of a global premiere set for this month’s Shanghai motor show.
Based on the D90 concept revealed last year in China, where LDV is marketed as Maxus, the SUV parked handily for public view will clearly skew close to its progenitor in styling and size.
The D90 is expected to ride on the same ladder-frame design that underpins the incoming new T60 ute, making it a rival – in concept, at least – to off-roading SUVs like the Ford Everest, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, Holden Trailblazer and Isuzu MU-X.
Full details are still to be made official, although it’s likely the D90 will feature a seven-seat interior in some if not all grades, with power provided by the same 2.8-litre 110kW turbo-diesel engine that will drive the T60 ute.
This camouflaged D90’s presence in Australia is confirmed to be focused primarily on chassis testing and electronics configuration, although the company is keeping quiet on the details.
Australia is likely to be one of the D90’s biggest right-hand-drive markets, so a localised tune could prove a smart selling point for the Chinese brand, still new to these shores.
Some promotional work will also be carried out here this week, with actress and former Miss Universe China, Zhang Meng, in Australia to film footage that will be used during the car’s Shanghai unveiling.
Further Australia details are still to come, but it is believed the D90 will be among the few vehicles on sale here to offer road-sign recognition, helping with active cruise control. Fully automated parking is also expected to be available, along with lane-keep alert and assist.
LDV has previously committed to a top 5-star ANCAP safety rating for the T60 ute, and, although no sure thing, we could see the same high marks awarded to the D90.
With a Shanghai debut confirmed, and the T60 already expected for a third-quarter Australian launch, we could see the D90 on sale here before the end of the year. An early 2018 launch could be on the cards, however.
CarAdvice will be on the ground in Shanghai for the D90’s April 19 debut, along with other new models. Watch for our full coverage then.
Click through to our gallery for more images of the LDV D90 concept and camouflaged prototype.