Peugeot has revealed a massive surprise with its Landtrek bakkie.
Although the French brand is amid a massively complicated merger with Fiat-Chrysler, that has not distracted from the development of a broad new bakkie range.
Most South African bakkie fans under 50 might struggle to recall a time when Peugeot single-cabs were popular in the local market. But the brand’s 404 bakkies are legendary in Africa. They had excellent ride quality (like all Peugeots) and can claim to have been amongst the first ‘right-sized’ bakkies for local conditions.
Peugeot’s return to the one-ton bakkie market will feature a comprehensive range with single- and double-cab versions of the Landtrek.
Partnering with Changan
But how did Peugeot suddenly develop a completely new bakkie range? Well, the Landtrek is in fact a platform shared bakkie – leveraging off Peugeot’s Chinese manufacturing and investment joint-venture with Changan. More specifically, its Kaicheng F70.
The Landtrek sized 5.33m bumper-to-bumper and 1.92m across, which makes it the same length, but slightly wider, than a Hilux.
Peugeot is claiming some pretty robust loadability numbers for its Landtrek, with the single-cab variants rated at 1.2-ton of carrying ability and a 3-ton tow-rating.
Confirmed engine specifications tally two turbocharged four-cylinder units. The smaller of these is a 1.9-litre turbodiesel, boosting 110kW and 350Nm.
Peugeot will also be offering a 2.4-litre turbocharged petrol, good for 155kW and 320Nm. The 2.4-litre Landtrek will run 0-100km/h in 11.2 seconds and power to a top speed of 177km/h.
Two gearboxes are configured for the Landtrek range, both with six forward speeds. The diesels will only be available with a manual, whilst the turbopetrol Landtreks offer the option of either manual of automatic shifting.
Off-road ability should be fair, with an obstacle clearance rating of between 214- and 235mm, depending on whether you choose the 4x2 or 4x4 drivetrain.
The Landtrek 4x4s will feature a transfer case with low-range gearing, for extreme gradients and low-speed terrain navigation in sand or mud. Hill-descent control is an additional off-road assistance feature, but now word from Peugeot about a lockable rear differential.
Where Peugeot has really differentiated its Landtrek from the its Changan Kaicheng F70 twin, is interior design. All those familiarly brilliant and ergonomically astute Peugeot design details, that you’d never expect to find inside a bakkie, are present with Landtrek.
There’s a compact two-spoke steering wheel and 25cm infotainment screen, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. Depending on trim level, Peugeot’s bakkie will have automatic dual-zone climate control and four driver-assist cameras, for low-speed parking convenience and dexterous manoeuvring in technical off-road terrain.
Perhaps the cleverest feature is Peugeot’s rear bench seat, in the double-cab Landtrek. It has a folding backrest which can convert into a 60/40 split. When folded to this divided position, the seatback can become a 100kg-certified load surface. It also frees-up 25-litres of an additional load space in the cabin.
Safety specification for the Landtrek includes six-airbags for the double-cab version, electronic stability intervention and lane departure warning. Bakkies are robust business in South Africa and Peugeot could desperately do with the Landtrek as part of the its local portfolio.
Peugeot has strategised that Landtrek is being targeted at emerging markets, and that means there is a good chance of it going in sale in South Africa.