South Africa might not have much in the
risk of widespread snow or ice in its winter season but that has not stopped
Isuzu from announcing that its latest D-Max bakkie will soon be available in
full Arctic Truck guise.
The Arctic Truck genre of 4x4s has its origins
in Iceland, where extremely testing winter terrain combined with a sense of
adventure amongst bakkie owners, has created hugely capable off-road vehicles.
Showing acute South African market
awareness, Isuzu has cleverly recognised that local bakkie owners are every bit
as obsessive about the appearance and ability of their vehicles as any
Icelandic arctic truck explorer. We might not have snow, but we have a lot of
sandy terrain to journey in and a balloon-tyre bakkie works well in both those
The Japanese bakkie brand has partnered
with Iceland’s Arctic Trucks to develop an Isuzu double-cab called the AT35.
These AT35 bakkies will be offered through Isuzu’s conventional dealer network,
without incurring any compromise to the standard D-Max service support.
AT35 customers will be covered by a
comprehensive five-year/120 000 service plan and five-year/90 000 warrantee on
their Artic Truck converted bakkies.
Priced at R785 000, these AT35s are
now the most expensive Isuzu product within the brand’s portfolio and for your
money you gain 48mm of ride height for superior off-road ability, and 180mm of
additional vehicle width.
That added vehicle width might make the
AT35 Isuzu a bit more of a chore to park, with those wider wheel arches are
necessary to accommodate the anchor feature of this new Isuzu: its huge 35-inch
BFGoodrich all-terrain tyres. Those tyres make the AT35 D-Max much better
off-road, with improved approach/departure angels and the ability to wade
through 718mm of water.
Other than the enormous tyres, reworked
suspension and those bulbous wheel arches, the D-Max AT35 is mechanically
similar to any other Isuzu 3-litre double-cab. It will be a bit slower though,
with the rolling resistance of those tyres influencing overall performance and reverberating
more noise into the cabin when cruising at highway speeds.
The first of these monster truck lookalike
Isuzus will be delivered to customers by the end of May, at a premium of
R170 000 to a standard D-Max 300 LX auto double-cab, the derivative which
is used as a foundation vehicle for this upgraded Arctic Trucks version.