Isuzu drops sneak peek of new D-Max Ute

Workhorse looks to have ‘more muscular body’.

Isuzu has released the first image of its all new D-MAX ute, ahead of the workhorse going on sale here at the start of September.

The single teaser photo shows a darkened image of the new-generation RG-Series 1-tonne ute, unveiled weeks ahead of the ute’s full Australian reveal on 13 August, followed by the ute landing in dealerships locally from 1 September. 

Isuzu’s horizontal bar grille commands the front end of the new model, harking back to the company’s truck heritage, with the grille flanked by a pair of aggressively angled LED daytime driving lights.

The image also suggests a more muscular body style, with widened stance and brawny haunches compared to the current model. 

The release comes hard on the heels of Mazda’s recent reveal of its own new BT-50 ute, which is based on the same platform and mechanicals as the D-Max. 

Like many car makers, Isuzu and Mazda have opted to share the development costs of their new utes, with the Isuzu-Mazda partnership replacing the long-standing Ford-Mazda deal. 

Scant technical details were provided for the new Thai-built D-Max but Isuzu is promising premium levels of refinement, technology and practical enhancements for its new workhorse. 

Specialist media have previously reported the new D-Max will feature a beefed-up 140kW/450Nm 3.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine, with six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.

The ute will reportedly be available with both 4x2 and 4x4 systems and in single-cab, space-cab and dual-cab body styles. 

The current D-Max is one of Australia’s best-selling utes, ending 2019 in fifth place in 4x4 pick-up/cab chassis sales. But despite being highly regarded for its ruggedness and durability, it’s been a long time between significant upgrades for the D-Max, which has fallen off the pace of market leaders like the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger in terms of fit, finish and features. 

The new model is expected to address these issues by adding new features like autonomous emergency braking and other driver-assist systems, as well as a new-generation infotainment including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.