Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Sun, Surf, and the Isuzu D-Max: Conquering Panay Island
Toughness in pickup trucks does not just call for off-road prowess or the ability to carry heavy loads, and this concept was underscored by the All-New Isuzu D-MAX in a road trip event.
In the driving activity called “Toughness, Refined and Redefined with the All-New Isuzu D-MAX,” the pickup displayed its other side, which is that of being comfortable and luxurious, across a route in the Visayan island of Panay.
Seven All-New Isuzu D-MAX units were shipped from Manila to Iloilo by 2GO Freight—the event’s official shipping line. The drive took off from Iloilo and ended in Caticlan, with the event participants taking a ferryboat ride to Boracay afterwards. Over the 260-kilometer-plus route that traversed undulating but mostly paved provincial highways, participants in the All-New Isuzu D-MAX activity passed by several local attractions and scenic spots.
During the leisurely drive, the All-New Isuzu D-MAX pampered its passengers with thoughtful convenience features, like its 10 cup holders that provided for extra treats on board, and 15 storage compartments that helped reduce clutter in the cabin. The latest model’s taller, wider and longer body translates to improved head, shoulder and leg room, particularly for the backseat passengers. Leather seats finished in elegant mahogany shade, a driver’s seat that’s power-adjustable by six different ways, and a rear seat that has a center armrest provide for car-like comfort. Combine these with a new premium audio unit with Bluetooth connectivity, a six-way speaker system that includes a first-in-class ceiling-mounted exciter speakers, and control buttons on the leather steering wheel, and the All-New Isuzu D-MAX really refines and redefines toughness.
“Toughness is a key strength for any pickup truck as this guarantees its ability to carry heavy payloads and conquer rough terrain,” said Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) President Nobuo Izumina. “But along with toughness a pickup truck should also provide modern comfort and luxury features. In this regard the All-New Isuzu D-MAX delivers, making it not just an ideal workhorse but also a perfect companion in recreational activities.”
Meanwhile, also assuring comfort for the participants both during the road trip and the beach activities that followed were Krooberg footwear and Reebok apparel.
The All-New Isuzu D-MAX’s toughness stems from within. The pickup is bolted to a heavy-duty ladder chassis that’s stiffer yet lighter, and its cabin structure is constructed from high-tensile-strength steel that’s bonded by tailor blank welding, making it more rigid than ever. Meanwhile, redefining toughness is a new superior suspension system that’s fitted in the pickup’s front end, composed of independent double wishbones, coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers. In the rear, proven semi-elliptical over-slung leaf springs allow for heavy payloads while at the same time improving the pickup’s driving performance, vehicle stability and riding comfort—welcome traits in a road trip.
Another feature of the All-New Isuzu D-MAX that enhances convenience while promoting performance is its newly developed 5-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift. A thoroughly modern equipment, it can be shifted manually for better control during overtaking maneuvers. It can also hold a gear when the pickup is going downhill. Its additional fifth gear brings improved fuel efficiency too, especially in highway cruising.
Matching the transmission is an available four-wheel drive system that boasts of the 4WD Terrain Command Select Dial. This device allows the All-New Isuzu D-MAX to be switched from two-wheel drive mode to four-wheel drive high mode—even at speeds of up to 100kph—by twisting a knob on the pickup’s console. Further ensuring the traction provided by the four-wheel drive system is a Limited Slip Differential that allots engine power to which wheel has the most grip available. Alloy wheels that are wrapped in 255/65 R17 all-terrain tires (for 4x4 LS) deliver traction and on-road comfort equally well. For added safety on the road, the pickup has ABS-equipped brakes that are supplemented by Electronic Brake-force Distribution and the new Brake Assist system.
Power for the All-New Isuzu D-MAX is provided by the tried-and-tested Isuzu 4JJ1-TC 3.0-liter, four-cylinder Diesel engine that makes 146Ps @ 3,800rpm and a revolutionary flat torque curve of 294Nm from 1,400rpm to 3,400rpm, ensuring superior acceleration in highway cruising or off-road use. A Common Rail Direct Injection system supplies the engine with fuel and air while a Turbocharger with Intercooler boosts the power output. A steel timing chain and melt-in liner in the cylinders strengthen the engine, ensuring reliability, while a camshaft drive gear with split design and larger roller bearings for the valves’ rocker arms reduce noise and friction, aiding in better fuel consumption.
“Numerous features of the All-New Isuzu D-MAX, from its interior appointments to aerodynamic styling to tough mechanical components, are geared toward making long drives comfortable, economical and pleasurable. That these new features come on top of Isuzu vehicles’ established strengths of durability, reliability and fuel efficiency make the D-MAX the best pickup truck choice in the market today,” Izumina said.
The All-New Isuzu D-MAX, formally launched in the Philippines on September 18, is available in seven exciting variants; LS 4x4 A/T, LS 4x4 M/T, LS 4x2 A/T, LS 4x2 M/T, LT 4x4 M/T, LT 4x2 M/T and single cab 4x2 M/T. It comes in Cosmic Black, Garnet Red, Ash Beige, Titanium Silver and Splash White colors. Like the bestselling model it replaced, it will be built at IPC’s world-class manufacturing plant at the Laguna Technopark in Biñan, with assembly to start in the next few months.