Isuzu pouring more R&D into D-Max engines

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All the focus going into smaller engine tech.

There is big news from the world’s biggest diesel engine producer.

Isuzu is planning a restructuring of its diesel powerplant range, with interesting consequences for bakkie fans of the brand.

The Japanese company has been the world’s largest supplier of diesel engines, for many years. But the new wave of electrification in passenger vehicles is changing Isuzu’s planning requirements.

Although battery-powered bakkies are only due to come online later this year, Isuzu is clearly recognising the influence they could have on its future market share. To ensure that all the very best Isuzu engineers are deployed to protect and enhance its profitable bakkie business, Isuzu is willing to outsource its large capacity diesel engine business.

Isuzu has signed a contract with Cummins, to supply the bulk of its truck engines. This allows the company’s R&D resources to be poured into D-Max engine development.

It might be a disappointment for Isuzu’s truck customers, but this is good news for the company’s loyal bakkie owners.

With more talented Isuzu engineers working on the D-Max engine line-up, expect improvements in power and configuration. Isuzu has also entered a working agreement with Volvo, regarding hybridisation.

This could deliver an exciting new range of hybrid powertrains for Isuzu’s D-Max and MU-X. Saving development and assembly costs on its big truck engines, will make it possible for Isuzu to extract all the potential from its 1.9-, 2.5- and 3-litre four-cylinder bakkie engines.

What the Cummins truck engine agreement gives Isuzu, is more freedom to pursue the development of its smaller diesel engines, which are of most importance to South African customers. Isuzu has a terrific legacy and reputation for durability, although the current bakkie engines are comparatively down on power, compared to Hilux and Ranger.

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