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Wild new Isuzu D-Max XTR storms into the 2019 CV Show

  • Eye-popping looks and standard-fit Pedders suspension upgrade
  • Increased ground clearance, yet better comfort and road holding
  • Green highlights throughout, plus suede, leather and 3.5-tonne towing

Isuzu isn’t shy about upgrading its D-Max pickup truck, and this new XTR is second only to the Arctic Trucks conversions at the top of the range when it comes to wild modifications.

Launched at the CV Show 2019, the D-Max XTR appears to be nothing less than Isuzu’s answer to the Ford Ranger Raptor (also making its UK debut at the show) – albeit without the benefit of a 200hp engine.

This D-Max does, however, come with specially enhanced suspension and a crazy eye-catching appearance.

Whoa! What has happened to the front of this D-Max?

That would be the XTR’s front bumper and grille protector, which is complemented – if that’s the right word – by wheel arch extensions, some of the maddest side steps we’ve ever seen, a rear tailgate spoiler and new rear bumper with large outside elements that look a tiny bit like afterburners.

Isuzu D-Max XTR at the CV Show 2019 - rear view with doors open

The green ‘lozenges’ on the top of the wheel arches are the first glimpse of  the XTR’s signature colour highlight, which appears throughout the interior, while the black areas of the exterior are finished in super-tough ‘Raptor’ paint (that’s a durable finish unrelated to the Ford).

To complete the outside look are some graphics and a bespoke set of 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli Scorpion all-terrain tyres.

What are the performance and suspension upgrades for the Isuzu D-Max XTR?

There are no performance upgrades as such, so buyers get the same 164hp 1.9-litre diesel engine as the rest of the range.

The XTR’s suspension, on the other hand, is significantly different to that fitted to regular D-Max models. XTR apparently stands for eXtreme Terrain Rider, and it seems Isuzu isn’t kidding.

Isuzu D-Max XTR at the CV Show 2019 - front view, high

Created by off-road specialists Pedders, the new suspension not only includes special springs and shock absorbers that raise the ground clearance by 250mm without compromising the on-road handling, the upper front suspension arm is extended to increase suspension travel as well.

This boosts the XTR’s off-road capability, even while the new springs and dampers are actually said to make the ride comfort and road holding better than a standard D-Max. That’s not a particularly high bar to aim for, as the D-Max isn’t the comfiest of pickups, but that only makes the claim more welcome.

The XTR also features upgraded front brakes for extra stopping power and endurance.

Isuzu D-Max XTR at the CV Show 2019 - front suspension and new brakes, green detailing

There’s plenty of green paint on the new brakes and suspension components, too.

What’s the Isuzu D-Max XTR like on the inside?

It’s a goodly mix of green stitching, suede and leather – some of the latter being described as ‘carbonfibre leather’ with increased durability as well as attractiveness.

Isuzu D-Max XTR at the CV Show 2019 - D-shaped steering wheel

As you’d probably guess, there are plenty of XTR logos – including on the seats – while the sporty D-shaped steering wheel is certainly a novelty in a pickup. The green stitching on this is finished by hand.

The front seats are ribbed and heated – presumably for your pleasure.

Do all these modifications compromise the Isuzu D-Max XTR’s towing capacity?

Not at all. Even with the suspension mods, the new wheels and the new tyres, the D-Max XTR is still rated to tow the full 3.5 tonnes that the D-Max is famous for.

Isuzu D-Max XTR at the CV Show 2019 - special suede and leather seats with logo and green stitching

It also has the necessary 1.0-tonne payload capacity to qualify for light commercial vehicle status, so is capable of living a working life just like any other D-Max.

Does the XTR come with the standard Isuzu D-Max warranty?

Yes it does. Like every other model in the range, the XTR is covered for five years or 125,000 miles – whichever comes sooner.

You also get five years of roadside assistance.

Isuzu D-Max XTR at the CV Show 2019 - rear side view, doors closed, man looking

Note the ‘roadside’ part of that statement. Get this thing stuck halfway up a mountain – which has surely got to be tempting, given the spec – and you’re probably on your own.

How much is the Isuzu D-Max XTR, and when does it go on sale?

The XTR slots into the D-Max range between the Blade and the AT35 Arctic Trucks model, and is priced accordingly, starting at £33,999.

That’s on the road, but plus VAT.

Order books for the new model are open now, with first deliveries expected before the end of the year. The model on the show stand is described as a prototype.

Is Isuzu showing anything else at the CV Show 2019?

In addition to the XTR there’s a new extremely limited edition D-Max Safir based on the AT35 on display at the CV Show.

Plus a large selection of other D-Max models, most of which are showing off specialist conversions ranging from a cherry picker and a police pickup to bespoke designs tailored to the needs of energy provider SSE and the RAC breakdown service.

Isuzu D-Max RAC breakdown service conversion at the CV Show 2019 - rear view showing towing equipment

The RAC D-Max is particularly interesting, because even with all the RAC kit on board it’s still rated to tow 2.8 tonnes. This is more than any other equivalent breakdown vehicle, and enough to cope with the vast majority of cars on UK roads. An initial batch of 50 will soon be in service, too.

Also read:

>> Isuzu D-Max full review

>> A-Z of the CV Show 2019

>> The Parkers pickup group test 2019

>> New pickups coming soon – and recent launch round up