THE Hilux has surged ahead of the Ranger on the 4x4 sales charts, with the Japanese brand shifting 3257 units in February. So far in 2018 Toyota has sold a total of 6137 Hilux 4x4s; while 5990 Ford Ranger 4x4s have flown off the showroom floor. The Triton rounds out the big three, with 1634 4x4s sold in February and 2947 units sold so far this year.
In a consistent trend, the SUV and LCV segments again showed growth. Compared to Feb 2017, upper large SUV sales increased 12.9 per cent and LCV 4WD sales by 17.9 per cent. Overall, the new-car market is experiencing a 6.1 per cent growth in sales compared to the same time last year.
Tony Weber, the chief executive of the FCAI, puts this growth down to strong value and increased competition among brands.
“Consumers are supporting the value propositions that the brands are offering,” he said. “To have the market already running 6.1 per cent ahead of last year’s record total indicates that consumer confidence is still strong and all those elements which underpin our economy remain in position.”
MERCEDES-BENZ premiered its hotly-anticipated V6-powered X350d at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. Benz’s 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine, with common rail direct injection, generates 190kW and 550Nm, with plenty of torque available at low engine speeds. For comparison’s sake, the four- cylinder X-Class X220d and X250d variants squeeze out 120kW/403Nm and 140kW/450Nm respectively. The V6 diesel engine is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission, with a Dynamic Select mode switch – Comfort, Eco, Sport, Manual and Offroad – included as standard.
Getting off the beaten track is made easy thanks to impressive off-road digits: 600mm wading depth, up to 222mm of ground clearance, approach and departure angles of 30° and 25°, and rampover angles of up to 22°. Features include the permanent AWD system with low-range reduction gear, an optional rear diff lock, and a central diff fitted with a fixed torque distribution of 40:60. Suspension runs to a double-wishbone front axle, multi-link rear, and coils up front and back.
The top-of-the-range X-Class will be let loose in Europe from mid-2018, in Progressive and Power guises. Expect an end-of-year launch here.
CHINESE brand LDV has announced the pricing of its tradie-spec T60 cabchassis, with the 4WD variant retailing from $28,411, or $26,990 for ABN holders. The budget-priced ute features the 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine good for 110kW and 360Nm. It’s mated to a six-speed manual transmission, with no auto available.
The suspension setup comprises double wishbone (front) and heavy-duty leaf springs at the rear. The 4WD variant has a kerb weight of 1720kg, a payload capacity of 1255kg and a 3000kg towing capacity.
It’ll most likely be used to carry tools to the worksite but, in terms of off-road functionality, the T60 has a 27.0° approach angle, 24.2° departure angle, 215mm of ground clearance and a wading depth of 550mm. Other features include Hill Descent Control, Hill-Start Assist System, Roll Movement Intervention and a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System.
Great Wall also added to its line-up, with a single-cab Steed priced fom $20,990. The 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine used in the dualcabs – good for 110kW and 310Nm – has been carried over, and it’s mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
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