New Isuzu D-Max: next-gen bakkie gains more power and added tech!

By: CAR magazine

Isuzu has whipped the covers off its new D-Max (once known here in South Africa as the KB) in Thailand, handing its one-tonne bakkie more power, larger dimensions and added technology.

The fresh range is set to comprise three body styles: regular cab, space cab and crew cab.

Isuzu says its new-generation D-Max is powered by a “newly developed” version of the Japanese firm’s familiar 3,0-litre turbodiesel engine, with peak outputs hiked to 140 kW (at 3 600 r/min) and 450 N.m (between 1 600 and 2 600 r/min).

The firm claims this new version of this oil-burning powerplant boasts not only more grunt but also improved fuel consumption and refinement. Interestingly, the company says the performance of the 1,9-litre turbodiesel offered in some markets has also been improved thanks to the optimisation of gear ratios and control systems.

And transmissions? Well, Isuzu says the six-speed manual gearbox has been tweaked, while a “downsized” torque converter and lock-up clutch integrated with a wide-angle damper will do duty in the self-shifting models.

In addition, the new D-Max gains an electromagnetic rear differential lock, while revised suspension and steering (with tilt and telescopic adjustment on the column) ostensibly result in improved “driving stability”. The brakes, too, have been increased in size, while claimed wading depth has been increased from 600 mm to 800 mm.

The cabin, meanwhile, gains a centrally sited nine-inch touchscreen display (incorporating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) as well as a nifty 4,2-inch digital instrument cluster. There’s also a new floor console designed to “enfold the driver and passenger as if they were in a cockpit of an airplane” as well as plenty of advanced driver assistance features.

The next-generation Mazda BT-50 will, of course, share much with this new D-Max thanks to an agreement signed by the two companies in 2016.

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