Is it possible that a Chinese built dual cab Ute can establish itself and snare 10% of the competitive Australian Ute market. LDV certainly believes it is. Today I attended the launch of the LDV T60 Dual Cab Ute in Sydney. It was a reveal only, unfortunately not a drive program that comes later in October. However from what I saw and heard from the head honcho of SAIC the LDV T60 Ute is here to shake up the market.
Given the failure of Chinese brands to establish a foothold in the Australian market previously, the question was repeatedly asked about how LDV was going to make any headway in the competitive Australian Ute market when to be honest VW has struggled with its Amarok Ute.
SAIC builds about 6,500,000-7,000,000 vehicles a year. That is impressive. It has a number of joint ventures with other manufacturers such as the VW group, General Motors and Iveco and has importantly established itself in the people mover and light van market segments in Australia with more than 5% of those segments. This also has an established dealer network of 45 dealers, which will grow to 60 plus over the next few years. On top of this the importer is ATECO which has a strong history (with one or two hiccups) of establishing brands in the Australian market. Think Kia and Suzuki as well as Maserati, Ferrari and Lamborghini.
So to the LDV T60 Ute. First impressions are that it looks pretty good, with the exception of the vertically slotted grill, which sets it apart from the market but to me looks old and dates the vehicle. From the side and rear it is actually presents strong lines and can be mistaken for any of the existing Utes, which is a good thing.
Initially there is only one body shape, the dual cab, one engine, a 2.8L Turbo Diesel, one drive train, a 4X4 and two transmissions, a six speed manual and six speed automatic box. There is two trim levels, the PRO and LUXE.
The PRO, which is essentially a work based entry level model, is packed with standard features such as a ten-inch touch screen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, along with alloy wheels, side steps and roof rails. Power windows, heated external mirrors, remote central locking and AirCon are standard across the range, as are automatic height adjusting headlights that ensure they are always working at the optimum height, regardless of the load in the T60.
Internally the fit and finish appears first class. The seats are comfortable all around and there is more than enough head room and even for the rear passengers there is enough leg room. It appears to be as spacious as the larger Utes currently available.
The LUXE version is targeted for the dual purpose or family recreational Ute. LUXE not only adds a range of standard equipment as befits the range-topping variant, it even has different suspension settings aimed at the recreational market,
Safety features include Airbags (6) – Driver and front passenger airbags (2), side bags (2), full length curtain bags (2), Front Seatbelts with Dual Pretensioners for the shoulder and hip, Child Anchoring – ISOFIX + Top Tether (2), Daytime Running Lights – LED, Adaptive Front-Lighting System (AFS), Blind Spot Monitor, Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake Assist (EBA), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Hill Descent Control (HDC), Hill-Start Assist System (HAS), Roll Movement Intervention (RMI), Traction Control System (TCS ), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Electronic Rear On Demand Differential Lock and Engine Immobiliser
The initial LDV T60 range for Australia is powered by a 2.8 litre Turbo Diesel engine matched to either a six speed manual or a six speed automatic gearbox. It produces 110 kW at 3400 rpm and a usefully flat torque curve with a maximum of 360 Nm of torque spread from 1600 to 2800 rpm. These figures are a little low for the Australian market. It would make their job easier if they had a hero version with 150kW and 500Nm. All versions have four-wheel drive with high and low range, however it is not shift on the fly.
All versions are rated to tow up to three tonnes with a braked trailer. Again for the Australian market that likes headline figures the benchmark is 3500kg, however the real figure to look at tis the GCM. The payload is 1025 kg for the manual PRO, 995 kg for the automatic PRO, while for the LUXE the payloads are 875 and 815 kg respectively for the manual and the automatic. The Gross Combined Vehicle Mass is 6050 kg for the PRO and 5950 kg for the LUXE.
The initial LDV T60 range for Australia is built around the Double Cab Ute built on a separate chassis for maximum strength and durability. It is produced at the LDV factory in Wuxi, to the west of Shanghai.
Designed, engineered and styled by LDV and its parent company SAIC, the LDV T60 is, with a length of 5.3 metres, width of 1.9 metres, and a height of 1.8 metres, at the larger end of the Ute sector. This enables it to have both a spacious cab for five people and offer a Tub that has a maximum length 1.48 metres and a maximum width of 1.5 metres and a depth of 0.5 metres.
The LDV T60 LUXE is fitted as standard with an Eaton rear differential lock. With off road use in mind, the LDV T60 has a ground clearance of 215 mm and a wading depth of 500 mm, while its front and rear departure angles are 27 and 24.2 degrees respectively with a ramp over angle of 21.3 degrees.
The T60’s load tub is lined as standard with a tough, hardwearing and durable liner, with a total of six load tie down points, four at low level and two on the tub rim. As befits their different roles, the PRO has a multi-bar headboard to protect the rear window and provide support for long loads, while the LUXE has a polished chrome sport bar. Both models have roof rails as standard.
For the arrival of the T60 LDV has also raised the stakes with its warranty, taking it out to five years and 130,000 km and including for the first time a loan car program alongside the 24/7 roadside assistance. LDV’s confidence in its latest model is also demonstrated by its ten year body perforation rust warranty.
The all-new LDV T60 Ute will be on sale in Australia from 1 October 2017, delivering a combination of high equipment levels, real value for money, four-wheel drive ability on all versions. Pricing was described as ‘sharp’ at the launch, which is an understatement. It represents awesome value.
Unfortunately I can’t comment more until I can actually take it for a drive for an extended period of time, but it seems on paper to be competitive, especially with the overall package and pricing.
LDV T60 Price List
|Recommended Retail Price
|LDV T60 PRO manual
|LDV T60 PRO automatic
|LDV T60 LUXE manual
|LDV T60 LUXE automatic