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Weststar Maxus had a surprise at its Hari Raya open house today, and it’s the Maxus T60 pick-up truck, which is now in Malaysia and open for booking. We first got wind of the T60 coming to Malaysia a year ago; the original timeline was end-2018, but better slightly late than never.
The Maxus T60 will be available here in two variants: manual and high-spec auto. The range topper’s indicative price is RM99,000 on-the-road without insurance, which is rather eye-popping. The manual’s price will be just a few thousand lower, which makes the auto appear like the better deal.
We’re informed that the T60’s launch will be in two to three months time, pending homologation, and the initial batch will be CBU imports from China. Local assembly is being worked on at present, and the Johor-assembled CKD T60 is expected to be ready in Q4 2019.
The Maxus T60 made its debut at the Guangzhou Motor Show in late-2016 as SAIC Motor’s first pick-up truck, one that is made to international standards, the company claims. The T60 – under the legacy LDV brand – was launched in Australia in September 2017, and has a five-star ANCAP crash test rating, so safety is assured.
Australia, a big market for ‘utes’, was the first right-hand-drive market to get the T60, which is also sold in New Zealand in right-hand-drive form. The T60 pictured is not too far away from the Oz-spec truck, and we’re told that the final car will be 95% what you see here – for one, Weststar Maxus is looking at wheels larger than the 17s on this example.
The T60 is powered by a VM Motori 2.8 litre four-cylinder turbodiesel putting out 150 hp and 360 Nm of torque, available from 1,600 to 2,800 rpm. The R428 DOHC oil burner with VGT is paired to six-speed manual and automatic transmissions, the latter with manual mode. Normal, Eco and Power driving modes are available, as is 4WD, which can be engaged via a rotary 2H-4H-4L dial.
The rest of the spec sheet doesn’t veer far from the one-tonne truck course – front double wishbone suspension, rear leaf springs, hydraulic power steering, and front/rear ventilated disc brakes are attached to the ladder frame.
The T60 is decently equipped. For a start, ABS, ESP and six airbags contribute to the five-star ANCAP rating. The integrated 10-inch colour touchscreen is hooked up to a reverse camera and 360-degree parking camera. There are also auto LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, keyless entry with push start, leather seats, powered driver’s seat, auto air con, rear AC vents and a sports bar, among other things.
The manual version seen here lacks the auto’s LED headlamps and DRLs; chrome on the grille, wing mirror caps and door handles; leather seats and keyless entry with push start.
Price-content ratio is the Maxus T60’s selling point against established truck players. The costliest T60 undercuts the base-spec manual Mitsubishi Triton, and the Toyota Hilux, of course.