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Locked up: All-new Isuzu D-Max bows on April 7

Almost three years of waiting officially come to an end on April 7 when Isuzu officially unveils the seventh-generation D-Max in South Africa.

Original scheduled for unveiling last yearThe onset of Covid-19 has eroded any possibility for production at the Port Elizabeth plant to begin as planned due to travel restrictions halting supplies of tools from the main facility in Thailand.

“The intention is to launch [the D-Max] At the beginning of 2022, the original plan was at the end of 2021, but Covid-19 has had an impact and we have had to revise it,” Isuzu’s Vice President of Technical Operations, Dominic Rimmer, told media during a virtual press conference two years ago.

New Isuzu D-Max bows in South Africa
Thai-spec D-Max rear panel

“We are [however] work hard to run the program in the time available. But we want to make sure that when we launch it, it’s right.

“There’s no point in launching it early if it doesn’t meet South African or African customer requirements, so when we get to the market the vehicle will be what customers want.”

ALSO READ: Isuzu begins new D-Max testing, but halts local debut due to Covid-19

At the time, Rimmer confirmed that a number of prototypes had already landed in South Africa for testing, adding that a series of changes would be made to suit local market conditions.

New Isuzu D-Max bows in South Africa
UK-spec D-Max interior

These include re-tuned suspension and dampers, revised differential lock, off-road tire mounting, new wiring harness, locally developed accessories and a thicker steel body.

“What we are known for is local engineering, so we don’t want to ignore that. We want to ensure that when the product is launched, it is launched with the quality our customers and consumers have come to expect,” said Rimmer.

When confirming the mentioned launch date on the back of the announcement of the ongoing production of the outgoing model that will be called D-Max GEN 6Isuzu President and CEO, Billy Tom, also unveiled the first locally assembled seventh generation D-Max earlier today at the Struandale factory to celebrate the start of production.

New Isuzu D-Max bows in South Africa
Prototype D-Max Extended Cab is being tested at the Isuzu plant in Nelson Mandela Bay.

The unveiling kicks off Isuzu’s R1.2 billion investment in D-Max . production plantas well as exporting the newcomer to left and right hand drive African markets.

The D-Max is on track to bow to Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on said date and is expected to mirror the outgoing model by being offered in single, extended and double cab body styles with a choice of rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. ride.

The South African model represents a huge departure from its predecessor inside and out and is expected to become available internationally as well as in its Thai-built brother, the Mazda BT-50

New Isuzu D-Max bows in South Africa
Disguised South African D-Max being tested off-road.

This means the entry-level 1.9 BluePower with an output of 110 kW/350 Nm and the heavily updated 140 kW/450 Nm 4JJ3-TCX 3.0 DDI that debuted in the market at the end of last year. all-new MU-X.

Transmission choices will be a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic, dropping the previous five-speed transmissions entirely.

Exact specification details and price will be announced at unveiling or possibly in the lead up to April 7.

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