Transport

LDV announces first one-tonner, T60

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LDV T60 (left-hand drive) 2

LDV and its Australian importer Ateco Automotive are preparing to launch the Chinese brand’s first-ever utility, the T60 one-tonner, in October with the diesel-powered 4×4 dual cab pick-up leading the charge and a broad range of variants arriving further down the track.

Two model grades will be offered at launch – understood to be ‘Worker’ and ‘Lifestyle’ – along with manual and automatic transmission choices (both six-speed units) that combine with a 2.8L four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine.

This is a VM Motori-developed engine with variable geometry turbo (VGT) technology and a fourth-generation Bosch common-rail injection system, delivering 110kW of power and 360Nm of torque. It is related to the engine used in Holden’s Colorado.

Australian specifications were still to be finalised before publication, but overseas data points to a combined cycle fuel consumption of 7.5L/100km. The engine meets the Euro 6 emissions standard and offers three driving modes (normal, eco and power).

The part-time four-wheel drive system offers low-range gearing and an Eaton-sourced centre differential lock. Hill-descent control and a hill-hold device are also part of the package.

According to LDV parent company SAIC Motor, “the T60 has been designed according to Australia’s newest ANCAP five-star safety ratings system” and will come equipped, or at least be available with, up to six airbags – including full-length curtain airbags in the dual cab – as well as a Bosch-sourced electronic stability control system, 360º panoramic camera, adaptive front LED lighting and advanced driver-assist technology such as lane departure warning and driver drowsiness detection.

The company also says it used “thermoforming” technology to improve the strength of the vehicle’s steel structure – claimed to be the first application in a utility – while laser beam welding was likewise employed to maximise body strength.

Isuzu Ute’s D-Max was among the benchmark vehicles against which SAIC tested the T60 during development, while in Australia the T60 will line up against the Great Wall Steed and a host of Thai-built utes that as well as D-Max and Colorado include the market-leading Toyota HiLux, Australian-developed Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi Triton and Nissan Navara.

At the highest grade, creature comforts such as leather upholstery, climate control air-conditioning, keyless entry/start and six-way power-adjustable and heated front seats should be available.

Single cab and extended ‘Megacab’ body styles, a 4×2 driveline, high-ride suspension option and cab chassis rear end will be progressively introduced, while a petrol engine and an all-new diesel engine are also in the pipeline.

The still-secret new diesel was recently confirmed with the unveiling of the T60-based D90 wagon – a rival for the likes of the Ford Everest, Toyota Fortuner and Isuzu Ute MU-X – while the SUV also turned up with a 165kW/360Nm 2.0L four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine.

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