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Isuzu D-Max redesigned for 2012

The new Isuzu D-Max is expected in the middle of next year although a final date is not locked in...

Until now, the Rodeo and then Colorado one-tonners were heavily based on the Isuzu ute, and therefore looked near identical, but there will be now such familiarity this time around.

The next Holden Colorado and Isuzu D-Max will not only have its own unique body shells, but will also use different engines. Isuzu has its own diesel, while Holden will source its petrol and diesel powerplants from the General Motors family.

Australians can expect to see the new Holden Colorado arrive late this year, while the new Isuzu D-Max is expected in the middle of next year although a final date is not locked in.

General Motors sold its Isuzu shares in a fire sale during the global financial crisis, but both companies did work together on the new one-tonne ute project.

“They put money into the same pot and split the responsibility,” explains Hitoshi Kono, who is in the final months of his role as Isuzu Ute Australia’s managing director.

“They said this part can be common, but this part, this part and this part should be different.”

Kono says he understands the two utes will be quite different as a result.

“This is good news for both sides,” he says.

Isuzu is not ready to talk about which engine will power the new D-Max although there is a good chance the current 3.0-litre four-cylinder, known for its excellent fuel economy, will continue on in the new vehicle. It is likely to be diesel only.

Holden has already presented a concept of its Colorado at the Australian International Motor Show last July with a 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel but Working Wheels understands a petrol unit, possibly an Australian-made V6 petrol unit could also be offered.

Both the Holden and Izusu utes will be produced in Thailand in separate factories as is the case with the current models.