AUSTRALIA’S demand for utes continues to be sated with new models, the latest being the JAC Motors T9 pickup that arrives in showrooms next month.

JAC (pronounced Jack) has been here before as a truck maker but is now starting to roll out ute-based models. The first is the turbo-diesel T9 4WD that is priced from $42,662 complete with a one-tonne payload, room for an Australian-size pallet, and a 3.5-tonne tow rating.

JAC is imported and distributed by new company LTS Auto and has 40 national dealers.

The Chinese manufacturer has more than 592,000 vehicles sold across 132 countries and regions and claims an annual uptake of 18.4 per cent.

JAC Motors Australia chairman Michael Jiang said the launch of the T9 and JAC’s foray into Australia would meet the “huge appetite for new vehicle options that deliver on both form and function.”

“We feel that JAC Motors is well placed to meet this demand,” he said.

He said part of the appeal of the new ute was its design, with clean body lines, 18-inch alloy wheels and a practical tub capable of fitting a full-size pallet  which means it looks just as at home on the street as it does in the bush or on the job.

Inside JAC has lifted the quality normally associated with working-class ute’s with features including quilted leather seats, wireless phone charging and a 10.4-inch touchscreen entertainment system complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

The T9 has a 125kW/410Nm 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine paired with a Borg Warner automatic transmission and two-speed transfer case. JAC claims a fuel consumption average of 7.6 litres/100km.

Safety gear includes lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist and blindspot detection along with front, centre, rear and curtain airbags.

JAC Motors Australia deputy managing director Danny Lenartic said at the launch of the ute that it was perfect for the Australian buyer wanting something they can drive to work through the week, before loading up all their gear for an off-road adventure on the weekend.

“We’ve put this ute through its paces, making sure it can handle our harsh climate and rough conditions and the feedback has been fantastic,” he said.

“The diesel T9 is just the beginning of what we have in store, so Aussies should keep their eyes peeled for more news soon.”

The JAC T9 Ute top spec Haven has an recommended price of $45,630 and the base model Oasis is $42,662. Both prices do not include on-road costs.

Both models have a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty. Service costs will be announced later.

JAC’s future ute models include a plug-in hybrid and a full electric model, but the company would not discuss when these would become available.

The chassis is the industry standard of a ladder frame with coil front suspension and a live axle rear with leaf springs. Unlike most Utes on the market, the JAC has rear disc brakes and also comes with an electrically-activated rear diff lock.

The T9 is similar in size to most peers, with a length of 5330mm, width of 1965mm and a 1920mm height. The tray, which comes standard with a spray-in liner, is 1520mm long by 1590mm wide and 470mm high. JAC said the weight is 2055kg, the GVM is 3055kg and the maximum GCM is 5930kg.

It has a 210mm ground clearance, 800mm wading depth, and an approach angle of 27-degrees, and 23-degree departure angle.

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