Back in April 2019, CARmag.co.zabroke the news the Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 was coming to South Africa. And now the local arm of the Japanese firm has confirmed how many units will be built in SA per annum.
Set to be offered on an “order only” basis, Isuzu Motors South Africa says a “projected 50 units” will be built annually at its facility in Port Elizabeth.
Interestingly, Isuzu Motors SA’s factory is the first (and thus currently the only) Isuzu Motors facility globally to receive Arctic Trucks International’s stamp of approval to build a production model.
The AT35 begins life inside the Struandale body shop, where it is welded (alongside regular D-Max models) using a combination of robotic welding machines and handheld tools.
Once the cabin and load bay have been completed, the body in white is moved into a special Arctic Trucks conversion area within the body shop. Here, a “select group of handpicked Isuzu artisans and technicians” begins the process of transforming the bakkie into an AT35.
As a reminder, the D-Max AT35 is priced at R785 000 and is based on the D-Max 300 LX 4x4 Auto derivative, sharing this variant’s 3,0-litre, four-cylinder turbodiesel engine, which sends an unchanged 130 kW and 380 N.m to all four corners via a six-speed automatic transmission.
The Arctic AT35 package includes 17-inch black alloy wheels wrapped in 35-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain Tyres (35 X 12.50 R17 LT) along with a “ResQ” puncture repair kit. Arctic Trucks has also added the customary wide wheel-arch extensions and chunkier side-steps, plus Arctic Trucks mudflaps, an Arctic Trucks chrome badge and a subtle decal set.
The uprated suspension comes courtesy of the folks over at Fox Performance, improving the bakkie's approach angle to 36 degrees, departure angle to 28 degrees and breakover angle to 31,4 degrees. Wading depth, meanwhile rises to 718 mm and ground clearance to 268 mm.
The factory five-year/120 000 km warranty remains in place, as does the five-year/90 000 km service plan (with intervals of 15 000 km).
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.