Friday, December 13, 2013
All-New Isuzu D-Max Proves Fuel-Efficiency in Recent Eco Run
Hot on the heels of its well-received launch last September, Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) shared some more good news about the D-Max pickup.
“This pickup is truly a workhorse that’s ideal for people who need a vehicle for both business and leisure. I am happy to note that the market realizes this, judging by consumers’ positive feedback with regards to sales and vehicle engine performance,” said Mr. Takashi Tomita, IPC Executive Vice-President as he gave his opening remarks.
After garnering positive press on the all-new D-Max’s attributes, it has already surged in terms of sales. With no less than 7 variants, the all-new D-Max has seen a 89.4 percent sales increase in October over the previous month as reflected in the combined Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) reports.
Furthermore, IPC has proudly announced that the all-new D-Max has begun assembly at the company’s Biñan, Laguna assembly plant; a promise IPC has made since the pickup’s launch in order to boost the local economy and keep more world-class Filipino workers employed.
The biggest news though has to do with the D-Max’s first fuel economy run conducted by the Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP) and certified by SMART Driving Corporation. Last November 13, using a LS 4x2 with the 5-speed manual transmission, the D-Max successfully logged 1,985 kilometers on a single 76-liter tank. This equates to 26.12 km/L, enough to travel from the northern most tip of Luzon to the southern most tip of Mindanao—cementing the D-Max’s reputation as a very fuel-efficient pickup model in the Philippines.
According to IPC, there are several factors that contributed to the D-Max’s astounding fuel efficiency. First and foremost is the D-Max’s choice of engines. Powering the record-breaking LS 4x2 is the 4JJ1-TC iTEQ 3.0-liter CRDi with 146 PS of power and 294 Nm of torque. This proven powerplant is joined by the brand-new 4JK1-TC iTEQ 2.5-liter CRDi found in the LT models. In this guise, it produces a commendable 109 PS of power and 280 Nm of torque. Both engines offer a wide torque curve that calls for less gear shifting while maintaining effortless power perfect for hill climbing and off-road driving. In addition, the turbo’s intercooler has been moved to the front allowing for increased cooling capacity and engine performance while allowing the D-Max to offer better pedestrian impact protection.
The second factor is the D-Max’s transmission options. The LS 4x2 used in the fuel economy run has optimized gear ratios as well as shorter gear throws while the automatic transmission variants now offer 5 forward gears. This new 5-speed automatic also offers a sequential shift function to lend utmost control to the driver when he needs it the most.
Thirdly, the D-Max has one of the most aerodynamic shapes in its class. With a 5 percent improvement over the outgoing model, the all-new D-Max offers reduced drag thereby improving performance and fuel efficiency while reducing unwanted cabin noise. Extensive testing was done by Isuzu engineers during the D-Max’s design phase, ultimately resulting in the use of the Japan Railway Research Institute’s wind tunnel—the very same facility used to develop the famous Shinkansen or the ‘bullet trains’.
Aside from fuel efficiency, IPC highlighted the D-Max’s engine durability—benefits from Isuzu’s extensive knowledge of anything and everything diesel. After all, they are one of the world’s leading commercial diesel engine manufacturers dabbling in industries such as road transport, heavy machinery, power generation, and marine propulsion.
“The All-New Isuzu D-MAX clearly benefits from Isuzu’s 70-year experience with diesel engines, having produced over 23 million diesel engines to date,” said Mr. Tomita. “This expertise means that reliability, durability and fuel efficiency hallmark any Isuzu product, and are traits that the All-New D-MAX is already showcasing.”
The secret to the D-Max’s unparalleled reliability and durability is its engine design. First, the camshafts are driven by an intermediate gear whose spilt-design minimizes backlash to reduce wear and noise. Second, the camshafts are activated by timing chains that have an extended service life. Third, the D-Max uses robust cast roller rocker arms with large roller bearings and pivot roller bearings, which are more hard-wearing that pressed roller rockers as used by other engines. Lastly, the engine pistons are coated with polymer for less friction and the connecting roads have been fitted with larger big-end bearings for increased strength.
On top of durability, the all-new D-Max’s engines are easier to service thanks to fuel injection connections that can be seen clearly without having to remove the cam cover. The oil filters have also been relocated to the top front area for easier access.
Thanks to the all-new Isuzu D-Max’s undisputed engine performance and fuel economy, IPC is expecting that the D-Max will continue to increase its market share.
“That the All-New D-MAX surpassed the already impressive record set by the previous D-MAX makes the feat even more notable. This pickup is truly a workhorse that’s ideal for people who need a vehicle for both business and leisure,” Mr. Tomita said.