Isuzu refuses to confirm of deny that new D-Max will come as a bakkie-first hybrid too

The way we have it — and Isuzu SA suits refuse to either confirm or deny the speculation — it seems that the new D-Max will likely come with both its hot new 3-litre and clean 1.9 turbodiesels when that all-new SA-built bakkie starts rolling off the firm’s Port Elizabeth production line. But there may be more to it than that, if lingering speculation is to be believed.


It appears that the Isuzu may well become the first hybrid bakkie to hit the road too. Now Isuzu has a long history with hybrid power in its light trucks — it’s been selling them for over fifteen years, so it’s no stranger to the tech and it knows how to apply it to commercial applications too.

Now as pressure mounts on all carmakers to meet draconian green targets, it seems Isuzu is not exempt and there may well be fire by that hybrid smoke. Cough.

it seems that not even Isuzu’s super-frugal 1.9 turbodiesel may not be enough to stay relevant and that an electrified solution could be the only option open in this ever-changing automotive landscape. Even in bakkies. And especially in more environmentally sensitive markets. And it seems Isuzu is already developing a future hybrid drivetrain for the D-Max and its MU-X, seven-seat SUV sibling.


Bakkie rivals including Toyota, Mitsubishi and Nissan are also understood to be working toward a hybrid pick-ups of their own workhorses in the years ahead, with Isuzu’s Australian arm admitting to a hybrid powertrain being ‘under study’ for that market. Dependant on response to the new D-Max offerings there, that is.

In the meantime, quizzed on Isuzu’s SA plans for its much anticipated newcomer, a company source suggested, “We haven’t announced the engine lineup yet, but we do need a high and a low output so I think so,” when quizzed whether both the uprated 3-litre and the new 1.9 were coming our way.

For the record, the new 140kW and 450Nm 3-litre 4JJ3-TCX turbodiesel represents a handy gain over the venerable current 130 kW 389 Nm 4JJ1.It has a new block, cylinder head and fuel injection system to achieve those gains in output and it seems likely that the good old 3-litre will continue to spearhead the Isuzu SA range.


And that may well be backed by Isuzu’s all-new 110 kW and 360 Nm Euro VI emissions-ready BluePower 1.9-litre bi-turbodiesel engine that is already available on eco sensitive several markets. And it remains to be seen whether he existing 100 kW 330 Nm 250 will continue. or if the existing D-Max will carry on as a bargain basement Isuzu alongside and below the all-new bakkie.

In the mean time we’ll also kee pan eye on that hybrid story. Time will tell…

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