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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

LDV T60 bakkie gets the thumbs-up for South Africa

T60 will take aim at the JAC T9, Mahindra Pik Up and lower-end versions of the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger and Isuzu D-Max.

With the announcement in January that the Guangzhou Automobile Group would be entering the South African market, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, otherwise known as SAIC Motor, has confirmed its entry into local market with the Maxus range of vehicles from May this year.

Although marketed under said moniker in China, for South Africa, the brand will be sold under the LDV name as in Australia, with the first model being the T60 bakkie sold since 2019 in Thailand as the MG Extender.

ALSO READ: Thai-market MG Extender bakkie shows a new face

Globally available since 2016, the T60 arrives on the back of a mid-life facelift in 2021, most likely as a double cab only for South Africa in spite of single cab and cab-and-a-half bodystyles being sold in other markets.

Power and dimensions

While line-up finalisation is only expected within the coming months, Down Under, the T60 comes powered by a single powerplant option, a 2.0-litre twin-turbodiesel that develops 160kW/500Nm.

Mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic, the T60 can be had with rear-wheel-drive or an optional part-time four-wheel-drive system, with dimensions of 5 365 mm in overall length, a wheelbase of 3 155 mm, height of 1 809 mm and width of 1 900 mm.

LDV T60 gets thumbs-up for South Africa
Depicted Mega Tub, referencing the size of the loadbin, tops the T60 range Down Under. Image: LDV Australia

Unique to the Australian market is the so-called Mega Tub, whose overall length increases to 5 680 mm and wheelbase to 3 470 mm.

Its payload varying from 730 kg to 935 kg, the T60’s ground clearance is rated at 215 mm, its towing capacity for a braked trailer at 3 000 kg and its breakover angle at 21.3-degrees. The claimed wading depth is 500 mm.

Expected spec

Confirmed to be offered with a five-year/200 000 km warranty and five-year/100 000 km service plan from the off, notable standard features comprise a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a TFT instrument cluster display, six-speaker sound system, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and push-button start, LED headlights and cruise control.

On higher-end models, leather upholstery replaces the cloth on the seats, heated and electric front chairs the manually adjustable ones, and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror the self-adjustable surround.

LDV T60 gets thumbs-up for South Africa
Down Under, all trim levels are fitted as standard with a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Image: LDV Australia

With alloy wheel choices ranging from 17 to 19-inches, safety and driver assistance systems, again depending on the eventual trim level, will include a 360-degree surround-view camera, Lane Departure Warning, Hill Descent Control, Roll Movement Intervention, Vehicle Dynamics Control, a tyre pressure monitor and rear parking sensors.

As in Australia, where three trim grades are offered; Pro, Luxe and the mentioned Mega Tub, the LDV T60’s colour palette will likely span five hues once on local soil, namely Blanc White, Metal Black, Lava Grey, Jewel Blue and Maple Leaf Orange.

More soon

Its South African operations being housed in Sandton with a parts factory said to be in the final stages of completion, more details of the T60, and indeed LDV itself, will be revealed in due course.

NOW READ: Chinese influx continues as GAC Motor heads to South Africa

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