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Shanghai show: LDV D60 SUV set for Aussie debut

Max factor: The Maxus badge seen here should give way for the LDV logo in Australia when the D60 enters right-hand-drive production during 2020.

LDV aims to launch all-new D60 mid-size SUV in Australia next year

16 Apr 2019


CHINESE automotive giant SAIC Motor is poised to expand its SUV range in Australia with the all-new D60 mid-size SUV that is expected to arrive late next year.


Making its public debut at the Shanghai motor show this week after its first outing at a press event in March, the sub-D90 SUV will be launched in China before the end of this year and should switch to right-hand-drive production during 2020 to service markets such as Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Thailand.


GoAuto understands the D60 will share a similar platform design as the D90, meaning a more off-road-oriented ladder-frame chassis than a monocoque construction, while the drivetrain centres around a new 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine available with either one or two turbochargers.


Plans for the new SUV were announced in Shanghai this week by SAIC Motor’s deputy technical officer for Maxus/LDV Burt Wong, who said the D60 was aimed predominantly at the youth market.


“It is the first production model with programmable front and rear lights,” he said.


“This was found to be a feature that youths wanted in a new vehicle and we received positive feedback when the design was shown to them.”


He also said the D60’s open octagonal grille and body design, with inspiration drawn from surfing, was found to have made a positive impression on prospective buyers.


The D60 is based on the Maxus Tarantula EV concept presented at last year’s Beijing motor show, where the company confirmed that the design study previewed an all-new mid-size model that was being developed with plug-in hybrid and full-electric powertrains as well as traditional combustion engines.


Mr Wong said Maxus/LDV will offer a full-electric version of its entire model range by 2025 and has developed a modular platform to suit electric, hybrid and internal combustion engines.


“Fuel-cell is still under investigation for Maxus,” he said.


Maxus, which began as part of SAIC as a clean-sheet division in 2009 and recorded 2800 vehicle sales in its first year, last year sold 84,000 units.


Its name in Australia is LDV because Maxus is already registered by another car company.


Maxus has also hinted at a smaller ute than the T60 but spokesman for Australian distributor Ateco Group, Edward Rowe, said it was not on the list for local sale.


He did, however, confirm that the new EV30 small van, which competes in size and performance with the Renault Kangoo EV, was being seriously considered.


“It will depend on government policy about EVs but we see a strong market for an EV delivery van for Australia’s urban market,” he said.


The EV30 could be here as early as this year, depending on how quickly it is made in right-hand drive.

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