Isuzu has demonstrated how its D-Max pickup can be converted into an extreme off-roader in a unique build project.
Revealed online due to the coronavirus pandemic – rather than, as originally planned, at the Commercial Vehicle Show – the vehicle is dubbed GO2, to reflect its ‘do anything, go anywhere’ abilities. It takes a used D-Max Utah 164hp turbo diesel manual that’s been extensively modified, including with an ARB Sahara bar to add to its offroad abilities and provide a solid platform to mount the Britpart Pulling Power Winch; which offers a rated line pull of over four tonnes.
Building on the existing underbody protection, Isuzu has fitted a full underguard kit to protect the engine and transmission and including a rear differential guard. A roof-mounted Lazer Light bar provides clear visibility while a Safari snorkel ensures a constant source of cool, clean and dry air is available to the engine, regardless of conditions, and increases the vehicle’s wading depth.
The original side steps have been replaced with heavy duty side steps that feature a chequer plate design. The 18-inch alloys have been replaced with smaller 16-inch wheels and 33-inch General Grabber X3 Mud Terrain tyres, enhancing off-road capability backed by a Pedders braking system. At the front, there are heavy duty brakes with vented discs and part ceramic pads which reduces the stopping distance and increases the longevity. The standard rear drum brake has been replaced with a Pedders drum and disc brake combination, bringing upgraded vehicle braking to suit offroad conditions.
At the same time, a Pedders TrakRyder eXtreme suspension has been added; consisting of 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. The truck has also been raised for additional ground clearance and a lockable rear differential has also been incorporated for increased off-road assistance.
The heavy-duty bumper at the rear features a rear step tow bar, losing the parking sensors but retaining the Utah’s reversing camera, which is positioned in the tailgate handle.
The tailgate opens gently thanks to the spring-loaded hinges on the Pro-Lift tailgate assist. A fully lockable and retractable Mountain Top roller cover has been fitted to the load bed. This has multiple positions and can be operated with a pull strap. Utah’s are fitted with a load liner as standard and the type fitted to GO2 is an under-rail liner to accommodate the Mountain Top roller cover. Finally, there’s an aluminium bed drawer system with lockable storage compartments.
Onboard equipment includes keyless entry, a push button start system, automatic air conditioning, a 7-inch multifunction colour touchscreen, satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB radio, eight speakers and front and rear USB ports.
Darren James, group resources director at Isuzu UK, commented: “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’ pickup and should definitely give our customers some inspiration for what they can achieve in their own D-Max.”