Isuzu enters small engine market

When you hear about a vehicle with a 1,9l engine, the first thing that comes to mind is a sedan or a smaller utility light delivery vehicle.

But Isuzu’s X-Rider double-cab 4×4 is also fitted with a 1,9l four-cylinder common-rail turbo diesel engine.

The engine delivers a maximum 110kW of power output at 3 600r/min, and a peak torque of 350Nm from 1 800 to 2 600r/min.

This is enough to power the vehicle through almost every terrain, but at the same time enhance fuel efficiency, says Wilhelm Rademeyer from Auas Motors.

Isuzu owners are spoiled with the much bigger engines, especially when talking about an engine under 2,0l in any 4×4 D/C off-road vehicle.

Global carbon dioxide emission legislation forces manufacturers to either look for ways to build ‘greener’ and smaller engines, or alternative energy source vehicles, like electric vehicles (EVs) or hybrids.

“One would think smaller engines equal less power and less performance,” Rademeyer says.

“But the contrary is true – smaller engines is the way to go. The 1,9 replaces the 2,5l diesel, and despite the engine being 600cc smaller it has more power and higher torque ratio and is more fuel efficient,” he says.

Isuzu South Africa in April said on its website that the vehicle’s fuel consumption per 100km was at 5,58l related to 17,93km on a single litre.

The distance covered on a single tank (76l) was 1 452km.

This is what the original equipment manufacturer prescribes.

“Lower CO2 emissions,” Rademeyer says.

He says the car delivers on all prescribed safety requirements and has earned itself a five-star New Car Assessment Programme safety rating.

Three units were sent from Thailand to South Africa to be tested, and after clocking almost a million kilometres, sending back the units for evaluation, the results were that it was perfect for this region.

The manufacturers did a few adjustments and improvements, like installing a larger radiator and upgrading the air intake to ensure this high-performance machine is ready for the local market, Rademeyer says.

The manufacturers took away some weight from the engine and added it by reinforcing the sheet metal and pillars of the vehicle for enhanced safety.

The vehicle can easily handle a load of up to 1,1t on the back with a braked towing capacity of 2,1t.

This means the X-Rider can tow a trailer or caravan with its own fitted brake system with ease.

Apart from the bright red ‘X’, the Isuzu logo and other red cabin decorations remind one of the X-Rider model.

A pattern stretching from the front to the rear door represents the katana sword, which is highly decorated in the Japanese culture.

The vehicle comes with a host of safety features, including seven airbags.

It is equipped with traction control, hill start assist, hill decent control, trailer sway control, rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera.

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