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by Matt Campbell

A high-riding, off-road-ready version of the 2018 LDV T60 ute has been confirmed.

It is expected that the flagship model will be a production-ready version of the LDV T60 Off Road – a sort-of Ranger Wildtrak model to the Chinese brand’s brigade of utes, offering buyers a range-topping model that has rough-and-tumble looks and extra all-terrain cred.

The concept model that debuted at the Shanghai motor show earlier this year was an extensively modified version of the T60 dual-cab, with a matte black grille and heavy duty bumper with winch and extra lighting.

Other add-on highlights included wheel-arch flairs, alloy wheels with off-road tyres, tow shackles at the rear, a roof-rack with light bar, and a snorkel.

The T60 Off Road concept rode on raised adjustable suspension, and featured strengthening beams in the tray and under the bonnet, while heavy duty underbody protection ran from front to rear, with the extra ride height and underbody cladding improving the approach angle at the front.

It has been confirmed for the Chinese market first and foremost, and will go on sale there before the end of this year, with Australia set to follow in 2018.

“We will launch it to the Chinese market first, by the end of this year,” said SAIC Motor vice president and global head of LDV, Lan Qingsong.

“We will review and discuss with [Australian distributor] Ateco for the Australian market, to see if there are any further requirements or standards required by local policies, before it goes on sale.”

It is currently unclear as to what sort of real-world modifications will flow through to the production model, but it is almost certain they won’t be quite as extreme as the concept.

One thing is for sure: we won’t be seeing a price-tag in line with the likes of the Ford Ranger flagship model, with pricing for the dual-cab 4×4 ute range starting from just $28,990 drive-away for the entry-level manual through to $34,990 drive-away for the range-topping auto (for ABN holders).

MORE: LDV T60 pricing and specs
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