AS Australian buyers continue to be short-changed by ‘dressed up’ special-edition 4x4 utes – all glossy stickers, bright paintjobs and embossed seats – Isuzu UK and Arctic Trucks have just announced the second incarnation of their modified 4x4 ute collaboration: the new generation D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35.
As with the previous model AT35, this latest one – featuring Isuzu’s new Euro-specific 1.9-litre 121kW/360Nm four-cylinder turbo-diesel donk - cops plenty of tweaks from Arctic Trucks, with the focus on enhancing off-road performance.
More specifically, the Icelandic company, renowned for producing beefed-up off-roaders, has focused on the D-Max’s rolling stock and suspension.
Hidden underneath the D-Max’s pumped-out flared guards are Arctic Truck-branded 17x10 black alloys, shod with 35-inch tyres (315/70R17 Nokian Rotiiva rubber, hence the ‘35’ moniker) that combine to offer a wider track and increased ground clearance (a claimed 290mm; last year’s model had 318mm clearance).
Fitment of this wheel/tyre combo is achieved via Arctic Trucks performing a 30mm body lift and 20mm suspension lift using Fox Performance Series dampers. Approach, rampover and departure angles are also significantly increased to 36 degrees, 32 degrees and 28 degrees, respectively.
Surprisingly, the engine has been left stock. However, even allowing for its low(ish) figures – it’s down on both power and torque compared to the Oz-market-specific 130kW/430Nm 3.0-litre TD – it still boasts a 3500kg tow rating and one-tonne payload capacity.
The 1.9-litre oiler meets Euro 6 emission standards (without AdBlue), and buyers have the option of manual or auto six-speed gearboxes.
Stylistically, the D-Max AT35 features a sports rollbar (with optional lights) and hard tray cover, while buyers can opt for either black or silver alloys. The leather interior is styled accordingly, with Arctic Trucks-embossed headrests on the driver and passenger seats, embossed carpet mats and door sills, with more badges adorning the door panels and instrument panel.
The vehicle dash includes push-button start, sat-nav, a seven-inch colour touchscreen, and Apple Play/Android Audio capability.
Isuzu Australia says it has no plans to import this variant to Australia, which is a bloody shame. Being able to flog a ‘special edition’ 4x4 ute that does, in fact, offer more than the stickered-up show-ponies available today would be a great selling point in a market that is crying out for just such a vehicle.
Maybe, one day.