New LDV electric ute due in Australia early 2025

The electric four-wheel-drive ute – based on the Hummer-like Maxus GST concept unveiled in China – may offer the option of a petrol engine to extend its driving range.

An all-new four-wheel-drive ute with electric power from Chinese car maker LDV is due to arrive in Australian showrooms in early next year, according to a local executive.

LDV Australia general manager Dinesh Chinnappa told Drive the company expects production of the new ute to begin for Australia in late 2024, ahead of showroom arrivals in early 2025 – a few months later than previously announced.

“My instinct tells me we will probably launch [the new electric ute] next year.” Mr Chinnappa said.

It may replace the current electric eT60 two-wheel-drive ute, but will be sold alongside the diesel T60 – which is due to receive an update in the next 12 months with additional safety technology.

The new electric ute from LDV was previewed by the Maxus GST concept unveiled at the 2023 Shanghai motor show, indicating the possible size and styling of the vehicle.

Technical details are scant at this stage. LDV executives have previously indicated the company would share more details on the new vehicle later in 2024.

The GST concept used four electric motors – one at each wheel – in a similar configuration to the Rivian R1T and upcoming electric version of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, the EQG.

The GST claimed 1000 horsepower (746kW) – while a next-generation ‘semi-solid state’ battery could allow it to travel further than the 330km claimed driving range of the eT60.

Mr Chinnappa told media opened the possibility of a range-extender model – which would add a small petrol or diesel engine to boost driving range and recharge the battery when it runs flat.

The executive speculated adding a petrol or diesel engine alongside the battery could increase real-world range from 200km or 300km, to as much as 1000km.

However it has not been confirmed for showrooms here or overseas. Only the electric version has been locked in for Australia, and it is increasingly unlikely the ute will offer a regular diesel version.

The current diesel-powered LDV T60 “will continue to operate until the market says we don’t want it anymore,” Mr Chinnappa told Drive. The future of the eT60 is even less clear, given it will compete for the same customers as the new model due in 2025.

There is a facelifted ‘Interstellar’ version of the T60 ute currently on sale in China, with a different front fascia and new technology.

This updated Chinese-market Interstellar ute also offers an off-road-focused edition, with a name that translates to English as the ‘Bull Demon King’.

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Sam Purcell

Sam Purcell has been writing about cars, four-wheel driving and camping since 2013, and obsessed with anything that goes brum-brum longer than he can remember. Sam joined the team at CarAdvice/Drive as the off-road Editor in 2018, after cutting his teeth at Unsealed 4X4 and Pat Callinan’s 4X4 Adventures.

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