Isuzu’s Extreme First Responder Prototype

With many of our lockdown thoughts focused on first responders, Isuzu UK has created a prototype of its D-Max pickup aimed at those working in extreme off-road conditions.

Its D-Max GO2 is a special build project using a post-registration Isuzu Utah manual in Splash White as the base truck.  It’s had some extensive work done and this has been built using the automaker’s accessories and other aftermarket parts.

The car’s standard powertrain features a 1.9-liter turbo diesel engine delivering 160bhp and 265ft-lbs of torque.  Even with all the added weight of the extreme off-road fixtures, the car boats towing capabilities of 3.5 metric tons, a maximum payload of 2,554-lbs.

The front features the body colored front bumper but this has been extensively modified to fit the ARB Sahara bar. This heavy-duty unit will prevent damage to the vehicle and help push through branches and undergrowth when it’s off-road.  Plus, it provides a solid platform to mount the Britpart powered winch, indispensable when getting yourself and others out of tricky situations and is capable of pulling more than 4 metric tons.

Underneath, there’s a fully fitted underguard kit to protect the engine and transmission.  The fuel tank on a D-Max already has protection as standard but this extra kit also includes a rear differential guard.  The Sahara bar covers over where the front fog lights would normally be on a Utah, replaced by a roof mounted light bar for extra off-road vision.

A Safari snorkel for wading relocates the air intake point from a standard position under the bonnet and moves it to a higher location which protects the engine from dust and water ingestion that can be experienced in an extreme environment. Smaller 16-inch wheels are augmented by 33-inch shock absorbing General Grabber X3 Mud Terrain tires plus an upgraded Pedders braking system with heavy duty vented discs and part ceramic pads while a Pedders drum, which is the better handbrake option for off-road environments.

At the same time, a Pedders TrakRyder eXtreme suspension has been added featuring two front adjustable coilovers and two rear leaf springs combined with adjustable shock absorbers.  A Pedders TrakRyder front upper wishbone has been installed for greater front suspension articulation and a Pedders rear anti-roll bar has been fitted to help control body roll.  Plus, the truck has been raised for additional ground clearance.

Creature comforts feature the Utah’s automatic air conditioning, a 7-inch multifunction color touchscreen, satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB radio, eight speakers and front and rear USB ports. Darren James, group resources director at Isuzu UK said: “This is a fantastic working example of just how easily the Isuzu D-Max can be adapted and transformed into a ‘do anything, go anywhere’ pick-up and should definitely give our customers some inspiration for what they can achieve in their own D-Max.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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