Thai-built Chinese van for RHD countries

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Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) and the Thai CP group is gearing up to build the LDV G 10 van range.

The vehicle will be built in Thailand for RHD countries in SE Asia and Australia. It will come in a commercial van guise and also in four and five row passenger variants. This will be alongside the SAIC/CP Group MG sports car lines.

For now, all G10 variants are powered by an SAIC-developed 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine developing 165 kW of power and 345 Nm of torque, but a diesel alternative is in the development pipeline.

LDV G 10.LDV G 10.

The only transmission on offer is a ZF six-speed automatic, but a six-speed manual will be added to the line-up later this year.

The LDV van will be competing against the Toyota HiAce and the Mercedes-Benz Vito but is expected to retail much cheaper.

MacPherson strut suspension at the front and a coil sprung five link set-up at the rear. Sixteen-inch alloy wheels are standard across the range, as are disc brakes all-round.

The cargo bed can cope with loads up to 2365 mm long and 1235 mm wide and weighing up to 1093 kg.

Standard equipment includes cruise control, audio system with two speakers, MP3 connection and DVD player, seven-inch LCD screen, Bluetooth phone and audio connection, power side mirrors, tilt-adjustable steering wheel, rearview camera and parking sensors.

All variants get anti-rollover stability control, as well as the usual ESC, ABS and electronic brake-force distribution, but only two front airbags are fitted.

While the goods van has black plastic grille and other working-class touches, the people-mover goes more upmarket with chrome grille, chrome door handles and similar passenger-car styling items.

The goods van gets hard-wearing cloth upholstery in a light grey, while the passenger van has softer cloth upholstery on the seven-seater and leather on the nine-seater.

The passenger vans have so-called captain’s chairs with folding armrests in the forward rows, with a walk-through aisle to the three-seat bench at the back.

The nine-seater’s rearmost seat excludes luggage space when in the upright position, but it can be folded forward when not in use to make way for cargo. The seatback splits 60:40 too, for extra flexibility.

Air-conditioning is standard on all variants, but people-movers get rear seat vents with separate controls.

The audio system has six speakers in the seated vans, with controls on the steering wheel. Other extra gear in the export vans includes heated exterior mirrors, adaptive Xenon headlights, rain-sensing wipers, front and rear fog lamps and tyre pressure monitoring.