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Isuzu to introduce mild hybrid D-max

- – Matt Brogan

Isuzu is set to follow Toyota’s lead in introducin­g 48-volt mild hybrid assistance to its utility lineup.

An article published by Thai outlet Headlight Magazine, states from 2025, Isuzu’s popular D-max would launch with a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbocharg­ed diesel engine featuring an integrated belt-starter generator MHEV arrangemen­t.

There is no indication as to whether the forthcomin­g unit would replace the 1.9-litre or three-litre turbo-diesel engine offering in the D-max range, or be sold as an additional option.

The news follows reports last year that Isuzu was working on an all-electric, BEV, version of its D-max ute.

In October, UK outlet Auto Express said the utility would be produced for sale in the European market and would be based on the current generation D-max.

The announceme­nt was made by Isuzu president and chief operating officer Shinsuke Minami at the release of the updated MY24 Isuzu D-max in Bangkok – that model expected to arrive in Australia sometime in the first half of this year.

Mr Minami did not provide technical details, specificat­ions, or timing for the Isuzu D-max EV, but it is understood the variant would be based on the current platform, giving Isuzu a rival to the likes of the all-electric LDV et60, as well as the incoming KGM – formerly Ssangyong – 0100 and plug-in hybrid Ford Ranger.

Goauto understand­s the D-max BEV would be powered by a version of the driveline found in Isuzu’s N Series light duty electric truck, meaning power output of between 110kw and 150kw and a peak torque value of 370Nm.

Isuzu Ute Australia has yet to announce timing of electrifie­d D-max models for the market, nor has it detailed timing of the facelifted MY24 D-max range.

The new-look D-max range was outed in Thailand in October, the revised MY24 model sporting an updated frontal design with revised BI-LED headlights and new ‘black chrome’ grille, more technology and several new convenienc­e features, along with a revamped ‘triple armour’ tail-light assembly and broadened alloy wheel selection.

Isuzu’s Thai website shows the facelifted D-max would also offer bolstered wheel arch extensions on the high-grade V-cross variant, sold locally as the X-terrain, and an aerodynami­cally improved lower bumper section with drag-reducing outer vents and an angled fog or cornering light.

Interior changes take the lead from the Isuzu MU-X, with steering wheel paddle shifters, ventilated front seats, front and rear USB-C charging ports, and wireless Android Auto now featuring on select variants. Touch-sensitive controls replace many of the infotainme­nt system’s hard buttons.

A new bronze-finish interior treatment with BT-50 style brown and black leather upholstery is depicted on the high-grade V-cross – X-terrain – variant.

The range is also set to see the introducti­on of a larger multi-function display within the instrument panel, upgraded from 4.2 to seven inches, though likely only on higher grade variants.

Isuzu’s Thai website does not mention any changes to the safety apparatus fitted to the D-max, mentioning only a wider-view frontal camera.

Similarly, there is no indication of any update to the vehicle’s driveline with the D-max set to carryover the current 1.9 and three-litre turbocharg­ed diesel engines, six-speed manual and automatic transmissi­ons, and choice of two and four-wheel drive – the latter now available with the MU-X’S ‘rough terrain mode’.

It is not yet known whether the changes noted above will be applied to Mazda’s twin-under-the-skin BT50 range.

Isuzu Ute Australia has not yet offered timing, price or specificat­ion details for the updated 2024 Isuzu D-max range, saying simply that it is continuing to monitor the situation.

 ?? The Thai specificat­ion Isuzu D-max V-cross ??
The Thai specificat­ion Isuzu D-max V-cross

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