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LDV to launch mid-size SUV

Spider bite: The LDV/Maxus Tarantula concept was shown at this year’s Beijing motor show, and it has been confirmed for production in 2019.

A new mid-size SUV, small van and electric vehicles on the way for LDV

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LDV logo5 Jul 2018

LDV will boost its Australian-market presence with a new-model rollout that includes a mid-size SUV and electrified light-commercial vehicles by 2020.
 
Owned by Chinese giant SAIC and distributed in Australia by Ateco Automotive, LDV’s current line-up includes the mid-size G10 van and people-mover, the V80 large van, the T60 pick-up and the related D90 large SUV.
 
More light-commercials are on the way, but it is the mid-size crossover that could see that brand compete with more mainstream fare in Australia, as it would play in what is now the country’s largest market segment.
 
Based on the Tarantula concept that was revealed at this year’s Beijing motor show in April, the production version is believed to be 80 per cent similar to the show car, and it will sit under the D90 in the LDV range.
 
It is expected to compete with some of the larger offerings in the mid-size-SUV segment, such as the Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan X-Trail and its Renault Koleos twin, as well as smaller large SUVs, including the Skoda Kodiaq.
 
The Tarantula concept features LDV – or Maxus as the brand is known in other markets, including China – design cues already seen on the D90 SUV that went on sale in Australia late last year, but it has an edgier look.
 
Details on the production ready Tarantula are scarce, but it has been developed to be produced with plug-in hybrid and full-electric powertrains as well as traditional internal-combustion engines.
 
Petrol and diesel engines are likely for the Australian market, but Ateco has previously signalled its desire to offer electrified models in the future, so the EV version is also believed to be under serious consideration. 
 
The Tarantula concept has a fully electric powertrain with a driving range of 600km, thanks in part to the use of lightweight technology and design.
 
The platform that underpins the production Tarantula will also form the basis of a future LDV MPV that will be dubbed G50.
 
According to international reports, the G50 uses a monocoque chassis and measures about 4800mm long, 1800mm wide and with a 2800mm wheelbase, giving it similar dimensions to the Honda Odyssey.
 
SAIC has previously said that the new platform would also likely spin off a smaller light-commercial van to compete with the likes of the Renault Kangoo, Citroen Berlingo and Volkswagen Caddy, while a smaller pick-up is also believed to be on the cards.
 
While Ateco Automotive is yet to confirm exactly what will make it Down Under, GoAuto understands that the mid-size SUV and the small van are the most likely, given the lack of demand for MPVs and small car-based pick-ups in Australia.
 
As part of LDV’s plan to launch a new model or variant every three months through to the end of 2020, the Chinese company will also roll out an all-new version of its large V80 van and cab-chassis that will include an all-electric version and by 2021, a hydrogen fuel-cell variant.
 
The company offers the EV80 – a fully electric version of the current V80 – in some markets, including parts of Europe and the United Kingdom.
 
LDV has also spun off an RV80 version, that, as its name suggests, is an RV motorhome variant of the existing V80 van. A next-generation RV80 is in the works and is being considered for the Australian market to take on the likes of the Fiat Ducato motorhome.
 
By 2020 there will also be an all-new G10 mid-size van range that includes people-mover and commercial van versions, also with fully electric and fuel-cell variants on offer.
 
A new turbo-diesel powertrain is expected to be offered in the D90 SUV to bolster the line-up that currently only includes a 2.0-litre 165kW/350Nm turbo-petrol unit, but local timing for this is unclear.
 
As well as its future Double E fully electric platform that will eventually support vehicle types across the LDV line-up, the company also detailed its future fully autonomous vehicle platform to be revealed next year in concept form. 
 
It will have interchangeable bodies that can be swapped to allow it to perform a variety of tasks, such as acting as a minibus for commuting, a mobile office or as an autonomous delivery van or ute.

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