The LDV V90 is the upcoming large panel van from LDV which its owners say is a drastic improvement on the current V80. Developed primarily for Europe, LDV says it now rivals the Sprinter and Transit for comfort and refinement. VanGuide.co.uk was at the global unveil in Shanghai ahead of its UK launch in late 2020.
Hmmm…where to start with LDV? The once British brand was born in 1993 when a group of managers and directors bought-out the van division from parent company Leyland DAF. Renaming itself LDV (Leyland DAF Vans), the company manufactured the aging 200 and 400-series (later renamed the Pilot and Convoy).
Both of these vehicles were replaced by the all-new LDV Maxus in 2005 although, dogged with early technical issues and the global financial crises, the company soon went bust with the intellectual rights and tooling to the being sold to SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corporation) in 2010.
SAIC sold the van under the new ‘Maxus’ brand in 2011 and soon after began exporting to other markets. SAIC revived the ‘LDV’ name for English-speaking nations and named the van the ‘V80’, with the Dublin-based Harris Group gaining the distribution rights for the UK and Ireland.
The LDV V80 was sold between 2016 and 2020 but it always lagged its competitors in terms of comfort and refinement, and the vehicle showed its age inside and out. In 2019, SAIC announced that it would be launching the successor, the LDV V90, in 2020.
“We are a strong competitor with Sprinter”, remarked Maxus (LDV) Director of Overseas Department, Yang Jun Ling. ““We want to position with Sprinter, but, at the same time we’re going to aim at a very attractive and competitive price. This has been developed primarily for Europe.”
LDV V90 specification
To meet European consumer demands, the LDV V90 has an extremely stylish interior which has been furnished with all the latest tech. Comfort and convenience features include keyless entry and ignition, adaptive cruise control, dual-zone climate control and a 9-inch touchscreen display with Apple Carplay, Android Auto and a DAB radio.
LDV is gunning for a 5-star NCAP rating and its safety features comprise of forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring. Meanwhile the new ‘Smart Spider 3.0’ connectivity system will provide a range of fleet management services including servicing scheduling, remote locking/unlocking from a smartphone and remote starting to pre-heat the cab on cold mornings.
Engine and driveline
Unlike the previous model that was powered by a 2.5-litre unit from VM Motori, SAIC has decided to build its own motor for the V90. Bosch will provide the ECU and the new 2.0-litre unit will produce up to 177hp and 400Nm, with torque peaking as low as 1,500rpm.
Hooked to a choice of either a 6-speed manual, automated manual or automatic, the engineers have put a lot of effort into reducing the powertrain noise which is now reported to be as low as 47dB at idle. The V90 will be available in front or rear-wheel drive.
From 2021, LDV will launch an electric version, the LDV eV90, which will have a range of around 200 miles.
LDV V90 dimensions and weights
There hasn’t been any confirmation yet as to the height and length variants we’ll be getting in the UK but company representatives confirmed there will be a wider range than the current V80 and suggested there could be three load lengths and two roof heights and a GVW range of between around three and four tonnes.
Price and availability
The LDV V90 is expected to go on sale in the UK in around late 2020 and will be competitively priced from around £20,000 plus VAT for the basic variant – a modest increase on the current V80 but still undercutting most of the competitors – and it will be back by LDV’s excellent 5-year, 125,000-mile warranty.
ALSO READ: LDV T60 pickup review