We like the look of the Isuzu D-Max that has been put together to compete in the Dakar rally next year.
Based on a production Isuzu D-Max 4×4 double-cab, the Dakar-ready pick-up has been beefed up with an Isuzu-developed 3.0-litre, 16-valve common-rail turbo diesel engine, producing a 242 HP. The powerplant, based on a standard Isuzu engine, is mated to a four-wheel drive system and a sequential five-speed Hollinger gearbox and Xtreme rally clutch.
To protect the vehicle and its occupants against rock impacts and potential accidents, the chassis features custom-built, full-length eight millimetre aluminium skid plates, while the steel cab body is fitted with an integrated roll-cage and carbon-fibre panels that shield the pick-up’s key components.
The result of these upgrades is a zero-to-62 mph time of seven seconds (on dirt) and top speed has been recorded as high as 190 kph.
The thirty-fifth-edition of the Dakar rally, and the fifth in South America, starts on 5 January 2013, finishing fifteen days later. The Isuzu D-Max Dakar will participate in the ‘Car class – T2’.