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New Chinese bakkie coming to South Africa – What to expect

South Africa is getting another car brand in the form of LDV, bringing with it a new double-cab bakkie series.

LDV is a light commercial vehicle company that started life as Leyland DAF Vehicles in the United Kingdom all the way back in 1968, but is now owned by the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), one of the largest automobile manufacturers in China.

The carmaker will officially open its doors in South Africa in May 2024 with the launch of the T60 bakkie.

What to expect

LDV is not the first sub-brand from SAIC to make an appearance in South Africa, as it previously launched Maxus in September 2023 to act as a local distributor for its commercial series of fully-electric vehicles such as the T90 EV double cab and the eDeliver van and chassis cab.

It therefore comes as little surprise to see that the LDV T60 shares a very similar design to the Maxus T90, though crucially, the newcomer will feature an internal combustion engine rather than an electric motor.

Maxus T90 electric bakkie

The Chinese automaker stated that it would provide the finalized details on the T60’s specifications in April, but we can take a look overseas to get a preview of what we can expect.

LDV has a presence in Australia, which is arguably the most comparable market to our own with a massive “ute” following, and there the T60 is powered by a 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel engine that pumps out 160kW and 500Nm.

It is available with either a rear-wheel or all-wheel-drive configuration, and customers are given the choice of a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

It is 5,365mm in length, 1,809mm in height, and 1,900mm in width, making it very comparable in size to familiar offerings like the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger, and it can tow up to 3,000kg.

Interestingly, Australia has access to two different leaf-spring suspension packages for heavy-duty or comfort, which dictates the maximum carrying capacity of the load bed with 935kg for the former and 750kg for the latter.

LDV also confirmed that its vehicles will come with a 5-year/200,000km warranty and a 5-year/100,000km service plan as standard.

The T60 has already undergone local testing, and the company is currently appointing its dealership network in preparation for its launch window in May.



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