GMSA has launched a 2,0-litre petrol version of its new Isuzu KB, which promises to deliver better performance and comfort than its predecessor.

GMSA has launched a 2,0-litre petrol version of its new Isuzu KB, which promises to deliver better performance and comfort than its predecessor.

When the new KB was launched in June this year, GMSA announced that a 2,0-litre base model would become available in November. The new KB 200i long-wheelbase single cab pick-up is a product of partnerships between the local company, Isuzu and Holden (Australia), and is unique to South Africa.

The four-cylinder HEC 2,0-litre overhead camshaft engine is a greatly revised version of the engine used in the previous model. Maximum power is 88 kW at 5 400 r/min and the maximum torque is 174 N.m at 3 200 r/min with more than 70 per cent of the torque available between 1 200 r/min and 6 000 r/min.

Engine features include multipoint fuel injection for better engine efficiency, a maintenance-free direct ignition system and a crossflow head. The compression ratio has been increased to 9,2:1 and a revised engine management system, sourced from Bosch South Africa, has been included. The camshaft timing has been revised for better torque delivery.

With the engine upgrade, power has been increased by eight kW and the maximum torque increases by four N.m. Service intervals are 15 000 km or every 12 months.

Taking the specific South African conditions into account, the addition of the 2,0-litre petrol derivative of the KB is important to the range.

"This model did not feature in the Isuzu Japan product line-up for this new range but we were able to make a strong case for an entry level model with a 2,0-litre engine for South African requirements,” Malcolm Gauld, GMSA’s director of sales and marketing, said.

“Isuzu bought into our proposal and gave us the go-ahead to develop this derivative. Isuzu steered us to Holden in Australia, Isuzu's global partner for the production of the 2,4-litre petrol engine used in the KB, for assistance in the engine development. Holden now produces this engine for South Africa.

"Working together with Holden for the base engine, and Bosch for the ECU, we have developed a very competent powerplant that offers a significant gain over the 2,0-litre model in our previous KB range.”

The new KB range now has six petrol models with three engine sizes in a choice of single or double cab and three specification levels.

Features of the latest pick-up with Base specification include a load sensing brake proportioning valve, side impact beams, front and rear mud flaps, double skinned load box with tie-down hooks, and a tubular full width rear step bumper ready for towbar fitment.

Other features include height adjustable seat belts for the two outer seats, active head restraints, a spare wheel lock, and anti-theft door bracket. It also has an illuminated and lockable glove compartment, power steering and a digital clock.

The workhorse has a radio antenna pre-fitted and is pre-wired for a cellphone.

The recommended price is R132 616,20 and the KB 200i is covered by a three-year/100 000 km warranty.