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China's Ford Ranger Raptor rival revealed: SAIC Maxus Bull Demon King is an LDV T60 with a very butch makeover

The subtly named SAIC Bull Demon King was first uncovered at the Chengdu motor show. (Image credit: CarNewsChina.com)

Are we looking at LDV’s answer to the Ford Ranger Raptor?

This is the SAIC Maxus Bull Demon King. You read that correctly – it’s called the Bull Demon King. Because presumably Bull Demon on its own wasn’t aggressive enough.

This kitted-out ute was on display at the recent Chengdu motor show in concept form and now SAIC has revealed the production version at last week’s Guangzhou motor show.

SAIC is the giant parent company of LDV and its China-market equivalent brand Maxus, as well as MG Motor.

Under all of the extra cladding, plastics and off-road bits of the Bull Demon King is an LDV T60 Max, which just went on sale in Australia at the start of November.

The T60 Max is a facelifted and updated version of the T60 that has been a top seller for the Chinese brand since 2017. In China it’s known as the Maxus T90.

LDV Australia isn’t saying much about the prospects of the Bull Demon King, but it could eventually end up in local showrooms as the new T60 Max range flagship – albeit with a different name (we hope) – replacing the previous range topper, the T60 Trailrider.

The Bull Demon King is based on the LDV T60 Max. (Image credit: CarNewsChina.com) The Bull Demon King is based on the LDV T60 Max. (Image credit: CarNewsChina.com)

LDV is selling the older T60 variants alongside the newer T60 Max, but the older model has been removed from the LDV Australia website and CarsGuide understands they are close to selling out already.

If it does land in Australia, it would face the likes of the Ford Ranger Wildtrak or even the Raptor, Nissan Navara Pro-4X and Warrior, Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain, Mazda BT-50 Thunder, Toyota HiLux Rugged X and more.

The key changes compared with the donor vehicle include blacked-out grille and Maxus badge, orange highlights surrounding the grille, fog lights and side air intakes, while a roof light bar and off-road bumper with a winch adds to the super-aggressive look.

Bulging wheel arches with plastic cladding and visible bolts are found at the side of the ute, and the rear gets darkened tail-lights, off-road bumper and a tow bar. A full-size spare wheel lives in the tray and there are defined tie-down hooks and a roll bar.

The interior has more high-tech features than the T60 Max. (Image credit: CarNewsChina.com) The interior has more high-tech features than the T60 Max. (Image credit: CarNewsChina.com)

SAIC has opted for an altogether different vibe in the cabin, according to CarNewsChina. Rather than robust materials and a rugged look to suit the butch exterior, it features plush maroon leather seats and dash/door accents, a leather steering wheel and an all-digital instrument cluster integrated with a multimedia screen.

This represents a key difference with the Australian-market T60 Max. The Max ushered in design tweaks and a subtle visual upgrade over the older T60, but the Bull Demon King’s dash is far more modern and luxurious looking.

Under the bonnet of the Bull Demon King is the same 2.0-litre 160kW/500Nm bi-turbo-diesel engine as the freshly launched T60 Max. It drives all four wheels via a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission.