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Where to next for LDV? Plenty of fresh metal available overseas for the challenger brand to take on Ford Ranger Raptor, Kia Carnival and Isuzu MU-X

LDV is far from its limit in Australia, with plenty of promising overseas product.

LDV is one part of a surge of successful Chinese automakers gaining ground in Australia, and while some of its most popular models are down year-on-year thanks to the industry-wide stock shortages and shipping delays, there’s plenty of fresh metal available overseas to support future growth.

LDV’s Chinese domestic equivalent is known as Maxus, a division of its SAIC motor parent company, which also builds cars under the MG brand.

So far, LDV has made significant ground in Australia thanks to its smartly-sized G10 van which is able to fill a size void no longer well served by its Japanese rivals, the T60 ute which offers commercial buyers a more reasonably-priced alternative to the big ute players, and now the Deliver 9 large van and bus, again, a more affordable alternative to high-roof rivals.

With the updated T60 ute and new Deliver 9 van behind it now, what could be the next segment to conquer for the challenger commercial brand? LDV’s Australian importer, Ateco Group, confirmed to us that it is working on some ‘interesting future products’, so let’s take a look at the international catalogue to see what that could include.

Maxus/LDV G90

The luxury G90 people mover could be well positioned to shake Kia and Hyundai's stranglehold on the segment. The luxury G90 people mover could be well positioned to shake Kia and Hyundai's stranglehold on the segment.

Launching in China just this week is the Maxus G90, the brand’s flagship people mover. Sporting a new-look and more upmarket design language for its exterior, and a heavily digitized and more luxurious interior, the G90 could be a solid alternative to the segment-dominating Kia Carnival and Hyundai Staria.

Powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, a 48v mild-hybrid system and driving the front wheels via the renowned Aisin 8-speed torque converter automatic transmission, the G90 could be well positioned in Australia with the departure of the Honda Odyssey and low sales figures of the arguably too big and too expensive Toyota Granvia.

LDV’s local arm tells us it is ‘aware’ of the G90 and will certainly consider it if a business case adds up.

Maxus/LDV D90 Pro

A factory-backed hardcore off-road 4x4 SUV offering seems like it would be a hit. A factory-backed hardcore off-road 4x4 SUV offering seems like it would be a hit.

The D90 large SUV has bucked the trend in Australia over the last few months, surging in sales by 221.1 per cent year on year, moving nearly 1000 units thus far in 2022.

Ready supply compared to rivals no doubt has a role to play, but the D90 range, which currently consists of a 2.0-litre turbo petrol RWD and 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel 4x4, could expand to include more hardcore factory-backed 4x4 offerings available overseas.

Key among them is the D90 Pro, which features a winch kit and alternate front bumper, eight-stage nitrogen shock absorbers, an increased ride height of 30mm, forged off-road alloys with all terrain tyres, sidesteps, a snorkel, roof rack, matte paint options, and a towbar.

It continues to be powered by the 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel engine, which produces 160kW/480Nm, sending power to all four wheels via an eight-speed torque converter automatic.

Australians can’t get enough of these more hardcore factory-backed off-road varaints, so this one seems like a no brainer to us. LDV’s local division said it has been pleased by the results it has achieved so far with the T60 Trailrider and is ‘always looking’ at the factory options available overseas.

Maxus/LDV T60 ‘Bull Demon King’

Ridiculous domestic name aside, could this T60 be a cut-price Ranger Raptor? Ridiculous domestic name aside, could this T60 be a cut-price Ranger Raptor?

We’re not so much a fan of the Chinese domestic market name of this one. Ignoring the fact that Stellantis would probably be annoyed about someone else using ‘Demon’ in its performance trademarking, it’s perhaps a bit much for the average Aussie consumer. Maybe the T60 ‘Pro’ would be a better bet, given this factory-backed hardcore ute is essentially the same overhaul as the D90 SUV off-road pack above.

Again, adding alternate styling, a winch kit, nitrogen shock absorbers, a wider track, forged alloys, a taller ride height, tough matte paint options, a snorkel, steel steps, and improved wading depth as well as approach and departure angles, this version of the T60 is the ‘Raptorised’ ute Australians can’t get enough of.

Just like the D90 pro above, the T60 continues to be powered by the same 2.0-litre four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel engine producing 160kW/480Nm and eight-speed torque converter automatic.

LDV T60 EV

Could the T60 EV be Australia's first mainstream electric ute? Could the T60 EV be Australia's first mainstream electric ute?

Just across the ditch in New Zealand, the LDV brand has begun rolling out its electrified range of utes and vans, which will soon include the fully electric T60 ute.

Set to arrive by the end of the year, the T60 EV shares its styling with the diesel combustion model, but swaps the engine out for a rear-mounted electric motor. The result is a power output of 130kW/310Nm with a driving range of 325km on the WLTP test cycle.

The specs are perhaps a bit lower than many Aussie ute buyers expect with a limited 1000kg braked towing capacity (full use of which will cut the range in half), no 4x4 system, and presumably a compromised payload.

Still, for select tradies who spend their time constrained to urban centres, the T60 EV might be a compelling first fully electric offering if it were to arrive here.

LDV eDeliver 3

First NZ, then Australia? Could the eDeliver 3 shake the van market up as a proper mainstream offering? First NZ, then Australia? Could the eDeliver 3 shake the van market up as a proper mainstream offering?

Already having launched across the ditch in NZ is an electrified LDV van. Dubbed the eDeliver 3, the small van is part of the new-generation Deliver family which sits alongside the combustion G10 in the brand’s overseas range. It is the first fully electric mainstream van to go on sale in NZ but would face competition in Australia from the likes of the smaller Renault Kangoo Z.E, and a potential return of the BYD T3 which released in limited numbers in 2021.

The eDeliver 3 for the NZ market offers a 90kW/255Nm electric motor and 52.6kWh battery good for a combined WLTP range of 243km. It can charge on a DC charger in 45 minutes or on an AC charger in five hours. It can also be selected as a cab-chassis for further customisation.

The electric commercial sector is relatively unexplored in Australia, so this one could really give LDV a head start.