Set to go on sale locally from September, the D90 shares its ladder chassis with LDV’s T60 ute (first shown in March and also set to go on sale in September) and will become the brand’s first passenger car.
Falling into the large SUV category in Australia, the D90 lines up against off road-ready family SUVs including the Toyota Fortuner, Holden Trailblazer and Ford Everest, though LDV’s Australian general manager, Dinesh Chinnappa has soft-roaders like the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe in sight.
Official confirmation will come closer to launch, but Chinnappa suggests that the circa $40,000 Korean competition could be undercut on price by "between 15 to 20 percent" giving the D90 a starting price of less than $35,000.
"We're realists, and as a new brand out of China it has got to be competitive," Chinnappa said. "We have to prove ourselves over time."
In order to reach that price point Chinneppa promised the the D90 wouldn’t go without crucial safety features and was expected to meet ANCAP five-star crash test criteria as well as including features like lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control to ensure its appeal with family buyers.
Under the bonnet the D90 will be powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine producing a competitive 165kW of power and 360Nm of torque delivered via a part-time four-wheel drive system linked to a six-speed automatic transmission.
A diesel engine won’t be offered from launch, despite the availability of a turbo diesel in the similar T60 ute with LDV instead opting to wait until a new-generation turbo diesel engine that is currently under development is made available.
Although unlikely to be as widely customisable in Australia as it is in China, the domestic-market D90 can be optioned with alloy wheels up to 21-inches in diameter and a choice of a regular 2-3-2 seating arrangement or a 2-2-3 layout with a pair of captain's chairs in the second row.
Chinese buyers will also have access to a range of connected functions via a 12.3-inch colour touchscreen set high in the dash allowing voice-activated e-commerce functionality in co-operation with China's AliBaba internet group.
For Australia that screen is likely to miss out of some of the more advanced online functions, instead providing more conventional navigation and entertainment menus.
Full details of Australian specifications and pricing will be announced closer the the D90’s local launch in September.