Gigantic Chinese behemoth may join New Zealand ute battle
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Chinese manufacturer LDV could soon follow in the tracks of the brilliantly big SsangYong Rhino XL with an elongated double-cab ute contender of its own.
It's been confirmed over the ditch that the long-wheelbase variant of LDV's T60 pick-up — known overseas as the 'Mega Tub' — will soon land at dealerships across Australia. There it will compete with the Rhino XL (badged as a Musso) as well as local conversions of the Volkswagen Amarok; sporting a longer wheelbase.
We asked LDV New Zealand about whether the Mega Tub was going to join our T60 line-up, too. “We are currently evaluating the viability, but not decided yet,” they said.
LDV may not yet be a household name like Ford or Toyota, but on the surface it's enjoyed a reasonably solid 2019. Year to October, the firm had sold 1135 vehicles — sales of T60 utes bolstered by sales of its commercial van range. Adding an elongated, extra capable variant to its ute line-up could be the ticket that makes it distinct from the pack.
Just how much longer than a normal T60 is the Mega Tub? Overall, the wheelbase has grown by 315mm and the tray is 275mm longer, too, making for a total tray length of 1800mm. That's almost 200mm longer than the enormous tray on the back of a Rhino XL, and about 300mm longer than the tray on the back of a Ford Ranger.
In fact, it's only 200mm shorter than the tray you get in a Chevrolet Silverado. Yes ... this LDV's tray is closer in dimensions to a Silverado than a Ranger.
What's worth knowing is that the extended LDV T60s Australia is getting don't feature the unique pumped-out bodywork in the featured press images. Instead they get flush bodywork a la the standard double cab, thanks to a new rear quarter stamping.
When it arrives in Australia, the Mega Tub will be priced at AU$34,990 for the 6-speed manual and AU$36,990 for the 6-speed auto — pricing that's almost identical to Aussie MSRP on standard T60 Luxe models (the equivalent of the T60 Luxury sold in New Zealand).