Motoring News

Isuzu SA takes on Covid with mid-year model makeovers

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa – While the auto business in SA went caught a chill during the Chinese Flu epidemic Isuzu’s bakkie arm went into high gear to update its products. Prices will start at more than R500 000.

Isuzu SA’s Dominic Rimmer told The Corner: ”Despite the challenge our product development team was hard at work making key updates to our vehicle range and executing engineering and durability testing on the upcoming, revised, D-MAX bakkie.”

A key part of the exercise, The Corner was told, was the intensive engineering and testing revision of all D-MAX bakkies.

KEY DECISIONS: There have been a number of revisions to Isuzu SA’s bakkie range – each made during the Covid lockdown. Image: Supplied

Overview of Isuzu products introduced in 2020:

DOUBLE CAB X-RIDER a/t 3.0

ISUZU HAS INTRODUCED a three-litre, six-speed, auto to its X-Rider range in response, the company says, ”to the popularity of auto transmissions in light commercials”.

The unchanged exterior is still dominated by a black grille with a red Isuzu badge and a black bumper guard and will be available with a choice of two 18” wheel-rim options, X-Rider 3.0 TD badging on the doors, and clear side indicators.

LOTS OF BLACK LEATHER

Also standard will be black side steps, matte black roof rails, black X-Rider sport bar, a lockable tailgate, rear camera, black Isuzu logo, and a 3.5 ton towball.

Exclusive interior features will be black leather/red stitched upholstery and leather-wrapped steering-wheel. Door panels will have piano black finishes with X-Rider logos and infotainment will be supplied via a 20cm touchscreen supported by controls on the steering-wheel.

Price: From R551 100.

RE-POSITIONED LX AND LE

THE REST OF THE D-MAX range has received cosmetic changes: all-black cabin interior. 4×2 models will have a towball and sport bar; LE units come with towball and sport bar and ”will be  repositioned to be more attractive to fleet buyers”

3.0 mu-X 4×4 and 4×2

ISUZU’S SEVEN-SEAT SUV has styling changes intended to portray ”a robust appearance and luxurious style” which include shiny black inserts on the grille and lower bumpers and black foul-weather lights.

SEATING FOR BIG GUYS: Isuzu SA is keen to get moving as the Covid threat (we hope) diminishes with already revised bakkies. Image: Supplied

The mu-X now receives 18” wheel rims, black running-boards with piano black inserts on the edges, and a blacked out rear bumper seal while the cabin gets soft leather trim, more piano black and diode lights on each of the four doors.

READ MORE Isuzu features on Carman’s Corner

The mu-X has an eight-speaker audio with iPod and Bluetooth connectivity and two ceiling-mounted speakers. The Ax2 infotainment system/20cm TFT touchscreen display though a slightlyu larger screen is used by a multi-function Alpine infotainment system – satnav an option.

Each unit has satellite controls on the steering-wheel.

TWO REVISED MODELS FOR mu-X

”The Isuzu mu-X,” Isuzu says, ” is a practical and capable family SUV with three rows of seats to take seven people who will be able to access ceililng-mounted aircon using dedicated controls for passengers in the second and third rows. Seven charging points for devices and 12 cup and bottle holders included.

The Isuzu mu-X is available in two models, the mu-X 3.0 4×2 six-speed auto for R643 100 and the mu-X 3.0 4×4 six-speed auto for R712 200.

NEXT GENERATION D-MAX BAKKIE

ISUZU HAS ALSO announced that work is under way on engineering and testing of the next generation D-MAX bakkie to be assembled at Isuzu’s assembly plant in Port Elizabeth – a seventh generation.

Rimmer told The Corner: “This next generation D-MAX is a significant step forward. Units have current tech to enhance the driving experience, efficiency and safety. Significant work has gone into delivering a vehicle capable of coping with SA’s challenging environment and customers’ demands.”

COMPUTER TESTED: Revisions to the Isuzu bakkie range have been carefully monitored to make sure product will be top-notch. Image: Supplied

These include testing load beds with ”significantly” thicker steel in strategic areas. Attention, The Corner was told, was also given to dust seals, suspension, and local shock-absorbers, all-terrain tyres, a rear differential lock, wiring harnesses, and accessories such as canopies, roll bars and nudge bars.

”Isuzu is proud of the D-MAX’s rich heritage of reliability and durability,” Rimmer added, ”and the company believes local experience will ensure that the next-gen D-MAX range remains competitive, durable, and reliable in our tough conditions.”

TOUGHER STEEL, BETTER DUST-PROOFING: Isuzu is keen to keep its bakkies at the top of the demand change so cabins have been uprated and thicker steel used for crucial parts. Image: supplied

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