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Isuzu Concept X Photo: Supplied
Isuzu Concept X Photo: Supplied
 
 
Alex Rae | Aug, 17 2018 | 0 Comments

Isuzu has unveiled an extreme take on its dual-cab ute and four-wheel drive duo.

Developed by independent workshop and professional driving outfit Team D-Max/EMG, both the D-Max and Mu-x Concept X were unveiled this morning at the National 4x4 Outdoors, Fishing & Boating Expo in Melbourne.

Originally brought about by the idea of fitting huge 38-inch Toyo Open Country Mud Terrain tyres onto the cars, the project took on a life of its own and 12 months later the end result is a concept car which towers over most off-roaders on display.

Both vehicles feature heavily reworked or new body panels from a redesigned front-end, bulging bonnet, flared guards and re-sculptured rear bumper. Rather than mould fibreglass parts, every new panel is fabricated by EMG in Australia from tough alloy metal.

“The cost, well it’s mega. Many man hours, I don’t want to even think about it,” EMG director and owner of Team D-Max Wayne Boatwright told Drive.com.au at the concept's unveil.

“It just started with the tyres, no one that we know has put 38-inch tyres on an Isuzu and you can’t even get them in Australia. I imported the wheels at almost $10,000 for one car and all of a sudden we just started redesigning the whole thing because they looked so tough.”

The vehicles have been lifted a further 180mm without the use of portal axles as used in Toyota’s extreme HiLux Tonka concept revealed last year. But the three-leaf span D-Max rear-end has been replaced with the five-link suspension setup found in the Mu-x and supported by performance shock absorbers with 60mm reservoirs all-round.

The approach and departure angles increase to 50 and 38 degrees respectively.

Each vehicle has two winches, one behind both the new front and rear bumper while the braking system has been replaced with front six-piston callipers over 390mm rotors and rear four-piston callipers on 335mm rotors.

The engine remains untouched, powered by the same 3.0-litre four-cylinder diesel turbo of the production vehicle producing 130kW and 430Nm through a six-speed automatic. A bespoke exhaust system has been added to get around undercarriage modifications.

“We’ve used different vehicle brands throughout the team’s history but Isuzu’s truck DNA sets them apart from the rest. Their diesel engines are simply the best in the business and the whole package has been outstanding in terms of reliability,” said Boatwright.

The interior remains unchanged from the MU-X LS-T spec, leaving all of the extreme modifications to the exterior and nuts and bolts.

“It certainly got a bit out of control. But once we’d started, we were determined to make them special. We didn’t set out to build a racer or pre-runner or rock crawler, or yet another version of the ultimate 4WD tourer. It would have been easy just to bolt on a lot of accessories but we really wanted to go our own way, so most of the build; the guards, bull bars, bonnet, brakes, suspension and chassis mods are all in-house custom work.”

However, Boatwright says there are no plans for a production version to take on the Ford Ranger Raptor.

“We’ve thought about how we could offer this as an aftermarket solution but at the moment we’re flat out between our driving and this, so there’s no plan yet.”

 
Filed under Concept X Isuzu
 
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