Peugeot’s bakkie is headed to SA. But can it beat the Euro bakkie jinx?
Peugeot is at full speed as it prepares to attack the South African bakkie market. On the face of it, that’s exciting news. But dig a bit and it could very well be a major risk. If Mercedes-Benz failed so dismally with X-Class and Fiat couldn’t make Fullback work, what chance does this sexy this Sino-Frenchman have?
LANDTREK WILL BE STELLANTIS’ SA BAKKIE
Anyway, it’s worthwhile noting that Landtrek will essentially replace the Fullback as Stellantis’ bakkie offering. It’s sharper, newer and on its own platform too. Rather than sharing its guts with a last model Mitsubishi. And by the looks of it, the new Peugeot is a pretty impressive pickup in its own right.
There were of course once rumours of a future Peugeot bakkie sharing a Toyota Hilux heart, but that camne to nought. The Lantrek is all-new and on its own exclusive platform. Built in partnership with Chinese manufacturer, Changan, that company’s small workhorse bakkies are no strangers to the local market. Landtrek is built on an all-new platform it shares with the Changan Kaicheng F70.
Landtrek comes to SA with designs on both the workhorse and lifestyle markets. In single and double-cab. Packing up to a 1.2 ton payload and a competitive 3.5-ton towing capacity, Landtek will come in both 4×2 or 4×4 get-up. And the option of petrol or diesel power too. Choose between a 157 kW 320 Nm 2.4-litre turbo petrol and a 112 kW and 350 Nm 1.9-litre turbodiesel.
UNIQUE LANDTREK TURBO PETROL
The powerful petrol lump is unique and most interesting in this market. More powerful than rival turbodiesels, it’s also less torquey as it goes down its own path. It’s mated to either a 6-speed Getrag manual or 6-speed auto. The diesel only comes with the manual ‘box. An eLocker rear differential lock disengages automatically. 4×4 versions get a low ratio transfer box, 235 mm ground clearance and 600 mm wading depth.
Well stacked, as they say, the Landtrek brings Peugeot’s famous style to the bakkie world including the 3008’s multifunction steering wheel and a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen nicked from the 508. That packs in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring and a 10GB hard drive and adds the likes of a neat 360-degree 4 camera system.
Top end models will also get the sort of thing bakkie owners have become used to over time. From dual-zone climate control to six airbags, electronic stability, hill descent and trailer swing controls, and a lane departure warning. Landtrek brings back the option of a good old 3-person bench seat up front to make it a six-person cabin. The rear bench has a 60:40-split folding backrest and thre’s 27-litres of cabin storage space in the double-cab.
WILL SEXY LANDTREK CUT THE SA MUSTARD?
Now all that sounds just the business. But! How easy a task will it be for Peugeot to steal sales from Hilux, Ranger, D-Max and now Navara too? In a market where bakkie buyers are undeniably patriotic to made in SA products, with a China-built pick-up. Judging by the most recent attempts, it has a very tough task at hands. But on first impressions, Landrek desrves to succeed. Let’s hope it can.