These Isuzu D-Max off-roaders would be perfect on Philippine roads

Apr 29, 2020 | Same topic: Automotive Industry Updates
Who says the British don’t know how to have fun with their rides?

For many Filipinos, Isuzu has been synonymous with pickups for decades. It currently retails the D-Max line in the local market, ranging from the standard utility versions to more lifestyle-oriented models such as the LS-A and the Boondock.  

Isuzu D-Max: Tough Enough for Anything

In the U.K., however, the automaker offers a trio of Isuzu D-Max variants that can more than hold their own when going off the beaten path. We’ll come out and say it: they look every bit as good under our tropical sun as they do under gloomy British weather.

Isuzu D-Max XTR clean

The D-Max XTR is a brawny off-road machine

First is the XTR, designed as an off-road model. It sports generous amounts of black body cladding in what Isuzu calls Raptor coating.

The fascia has been redesigned for a more aggressive look, with a bumper guard, hood protector and headlight frames. This Isuzu D-Max features prominent XTR badging, right down to the satin black 17-inch alloys.

Isuzu D-Max XTR side step

Side steps with integrated drainage protect the bodywork from stones and rocks

The XTR wears Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus tires and rides on bespoke Pedders suspension, which includes Kevlar ceramic front brake pads biting down on slotted discs. Angular side steps and a generous 250-mm ground clearance complete the XTR’s stance.

Inside, up to five occupants can settle down on seats finished in leather, suede, and carbon fiber. Drivers take command of a flat-bottomed leather sports steering wheel. In-car entertainment is handled by a 7-inch touchscreen head unit with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and available navigation.       

>>> Related: Isuzu D-Max brand new price

XTR steering wheel

A sporty flat-bottomed steering wheel welcomes you in the driver's seat

There’s also the AT35, a collaboration between Isuzu and Arctic Trucks, a 4WD engineering company specializing in cold-weather vehicles. The rig sports large wheel arches and extended side steps, with a tubular bull bar attached to the cargo bed and prominent AT35 badging.

The variant comes with 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Nokian Rotiiva All-Terrain rubbers, and a Bilstein suspension set up gives it an even more extreme 290-mm ground clearance.

AT35

The AT35 was engineered to set colder environments on fire

>>> Related: Isuzu D-Max 2020 Philippines Review: An amalgamation of aggression and more!

Seats for five are draped in bespoke leather, matched with Arctic Trucks stitching on the headrests. A 9-inch multifunction touchscreen dominates the dashboard, featuring Bluetooth connectivity and satellite navigation. Automatic climate control and wireless charging round up the convenience features.     

Interior amenities include leather seats and a large 9-inch touchscreen head unit

But perhaps the most extreme one so far comes in the form of the D-Max GO2 (go-to), so named because Isuzu is marketing it as a truck that can go to places where other pickups fear to tread.

The GO2 uses a registered D-Max Utah double cab variant as the base, to which aftermarket parts have been added such as an ARB front bumper and a Britpart Pulling Power winch.

A full underguard kit for the engine, transmission, and rear differential has also been installed, as well as a Safari snorkel replacing the stock air intake for increased wading depth.

GO2

The GO2 is a D-Max Utah variant fitted with aftermarket parts

The rig rides on Pedders TrakRyder eXtreme adjustable front coilovers and rear shock absorbers, incorporating a lockable rear differential. Stock 18-inch wheels have been replaced by 16-inch alloys wearing 33-inch General Grabber X3 Mud Terrain tires for serious forays into wet, muddy, or rocky wastelands.

Heavy-duty upholstery figures prominently in the GO2’s cabin, with rubber floor trays that catch dirt, mud, and snow to keep the interior clean. It also has automatic airconditioning and a 7-inch touchscreen featuring smartphone integration connected to an 8-speaker setup, and USB ports for the front and rear.   

>>> Related: Isuzu D Max vs Hilux: Spec comparison of the big & tough!

GO2 on rocks

Venturing forth to places where other trucks dare not go

The common power unit is Isuzu’s 1.9L RZ4E turbodiesel four-banger that generates 164 hp and 360 Nm of torque, mated to either a 6-speed manual or automatic gearbox. Shift-on-the-fly 4WD is standard across all variants, as well as antilock brakes, electronic stability control, hill descent control, and 6 airbags.

The AT35 starts at £33,184 (Php 2,090,901.40) for the double cab manual, reaching £35,180 (Php 2,216,668) for the automatic with navigation.

The XTR has a basic retail price of £39,180 (Php 2,468,705.31) for the double cab stick version and £40,180 (Php 2,531,665.96) for its slushbox equivalent.

Meanwhile, the GO2 is an aftermarket demonstration of the D-Max’s customization options, which aims to inspire D-Max owners on how they can come up with their own purpose-built trucks.  

Is there any chance we can get our hands on them, Isuzu Philippines?   

Catch more mighty machines here on Philkotse.com

Author

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph has been on the LTO's records since 2004. Old enough to remember riding in taxicabs with analog meters. Keeping his hopes high and his revs low, he dreams about owning a Kei car when he retires. Hates slow parkers.