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Meet China's toughest ute yet! New LDV Maxus Pick-Up ready to monster Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux


China is preparing its most aggressive attack on the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger to date, with SAIC revealing a LDV/Maxus Pick-Up Concept that debuts a tough new design language expected to inspire the next LDV T60 and T70 dual-cabs.

The vehicle, revealed at the 2020 Chengdu Auto Show, most noticeably debuts a new and massive front end - clearly inspired by US-style trucks - with a horizontal-slat grille framed by two vertical LED DRL strips, as evidenced in these pictures captured by China PEV.

The Chinese brand is clearly focusing on off-road ability, too, given the concept appears to sport two recovery points in the the front grille, and has been fitted with a set of chunky BFGoodrich All-Terrain tyres.

While initial images made the new ute look more lifestyle-focused (especially the way the rear box meets the body of the vehicle, courtesy of the two angled strips that run from rear of the tray to the roof of the ute), the new images reveal a more rugged offering.

Inside, the ute concept appears to up the tech and premium factor, with widescreen multimedia that stretches from the steering wheel to the centre of the dash, an electronic shift lever, and what appears to be a leather-lined dash.

Inside, a widescreen multimedia system stretches from the steering wheel to the centre of the dash. Inside, a widescreen multimedia system stretches from the steering wheel to the centre of the dash.

While engine specifics aren't yet confirmed, international reports point to carryover engines and transmissions, which for our market means the continuation of the new turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel good for 120kW and 375Nm, and paired with a six-speed automatic.

In exciting news, there's also international talk of a twin-turbo-diesel, again a 2.0-litre, only this time producing a whopping 162kW and 480Nm, and paired with an eight-speed ZF automatic.

The Maxus has a clear off-road focus. The Maxus has a clear off-road focus.

Alternatively, the brand has also pointed to a plug-in hybrid and full electric future, but we'll have to wait and see just what's powering the latest Chinese ute.

For that, you'll have to watch this space.