The entire all-new Isuzu D-Max ute range landing Down Under next month will be powered exclusively by a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engine, but the brand is also considering the introduction of a 1.9-litre engine and hybrid powerplant depending on market demands.
Speaking to journalists at the online D-Max reveal, Isuzu Ute Australia director of sales Koichiro Yoshida would not commit to bringing the smaller engine to market, possibly to attract more fleet sales as a cheaper entry point.
“We are still monitoring the market if there’s such a demand or not,” he said.
“But we are not in a position to comment on that (bringing in the 1.9-litre engine).”
When asked if an electrified engine is in the works, potentially to compete directly against the rumoured next Ford Ranger’s hybrid engine, Isuzu Ute Australia managing director Hiroyasu Sato hinted that plans were already underway.
“We are always watching the market carefully and try to provide a product which meets regulations, including emissions standards, and the customer demand to provide the best solution,” he said.
“Right now, we believe that the 3.0-litre diesel engine is the best solution for us.
“As for future support of a next-generation powertrain, Isuzu is developing and investigating, and also just searching for the best timing for when and what kind of product we are going to introduce.
“We are watching the marketing carefully and try to always provide the best solution at each individual timing.”
For the time being however, the brand will stick with the 3.0-litre 4JJ3 engine that is now tuned to 140kW/450Nm in Australia, with us and Thailand the only markets to receive the engine.
The brand believes the engine is a better fit for the local market, and offers a 3.5-ton braked towing capacity, but it should also be noted that the 3.0-litre engine is only Euro 5 compliant.
In Europe, where stricter emissions regulations are enforced, a 1.9-litre engine is on offer, which currently outputs 121kW/360Nm in the UK.
A new engine with the same size and Euro 6 compliance is available on the new D-Max, outputting 112kW/350Nm according to Isuzu’s Thai website, which is expected to make its way to Europe.