The successor to China’s LDV T60 ute is two years away, reportedly with input from Australian buyers.
That next generation of the LDV T60 Ute is due in showrooms in about two years – developed with input from the Chinese automaker’s Australian dealer.
The current LDV T60 was launched in Australia in late 2017 – but an unnamed successor is already in development and is expected to hit showrooms in the second half of 2024, according to Dinesh Chinnappa, general manager of LDV Australia.
The next-gen Ute – which may not carry on the T60 name – is reportedly being developed with input from LDV in Australia, and the company has reportedly been keeping a close eye on the latest benchmarks in the class.
“We started working with SMCV [parent company SAIC Motor’s commercial vehicle division] on an all-new model pickup truck a year and a half to two years ago,” said Mr. Chinnappa journey at the launch of the updated 2023 T60 Max last week.
“They wrote to us and said we want to design a new pickup, we want you to tell us if you design [a ute] what would be the things you would want.
“And so we prepared an important paper for them and we took our time – months’ worth of work went into it – and then we submitted a document to SMCV next generation, we wrapped that in a loop and sent it to China and said : “Please note this, please note that”.
“We are in very regular contact about what the next pick-up will look like. I expect it to become a reality…in mid to late 2024,” said Mr. Chinnappa.
Mr. Chinnappa told journey The current LDV T60 range still has “a year, maybe two years” before the new model arrives – suggesting there could be a gap of a few months between old and new models.
The executive did not list the new features that LDV Australia has passed on to the Chinese headquarters, however the Ute market has evolved significantly in terms of engines, technology and safety since the T60 was introduced in 2017.
The latest ute – the Ford Ranger – is available with four-cylinder or V6 diesel power (with a petrol hybrid rumored to be on the way), permanent four-wheel drive, 3500kg towing capacity, two large interior screens and over-the-air software updates, a shelf , which is wide enough to fit a pallet between the wheels, 10 airbags and advanced safety technology.
The LDV T60 was upgraded last year with a 160kW/500Nm twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel engine – but it lacks advanced safety technologies like autonomous emergency braking and basics like Android Auto connectivity.
When asked how much input LDV in Australia has when developing new models, Mr Chinnappa said: “It depends on the model.
“Less with something like Mifa 9 [LDV’s upcoming electric people mover] … we were not heavily involved in it.
“On the van side of the business we are heavily involved. We are a big van market for [LDV]. We are very successful with their Deliver 9 van in Australia and they respect the fact that we managed to get them number one [place in the large van segment].
“They are grateful and treat us accordingly, giving us input on things like development and improvements. We will be able to give you feedback on eDeliver 9 [electric van], things we need, things we want and they will listen to us. In that respect they are very good.”
If the launch of the next LDV-Ute stays on track in the second half of 2024, it will likely arrive on showrooms at a similar time to a wave of new-generation Utes from established Japanese automakers.
The year 2024 is an important deadline. From 2024 new, stricter crash safety rules will come into force, so a number of brands are aiming to be on the market before the next upgrade.
The new Mitsubishi Triton is expected to be unveiled next year, before hitting showrooms in 2024 – while the next Nissan Navara, being developed alongside the Triton, is expected at a similar time, based on standard 10-year commercial vehicle lifecycles .
The next-generation Toyota HiLux is due out in 2025 or 2026, based on typical 10-year model cycles.
If LDV’s next-generation Ute is pushed back to 2025, the current T60 run could be abruptly disrupted by the introduction of regulations mandating the installation of autonomous emergency braking systems for light commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 3.5 tons.
The LDV T60 lacks this technology. If Enhanced Safety Help is not added by then, the LDV T60 in its current form as of March 2025 could fail to meet local compliance regulations.