FX is for Xtra-special family
Isuzu has recently launched its new FX-Series, a powerful and aggressive vehicle that completes Isuzu’s line-up.
Isuzu likes to keep its family simple. That’s what Anton du Plessis, sales and distribution manager of Isuzu Truck South Africa, says of the company’s latest product, the FX-Series. “We describe the FX-Series as the ‘Big Brother’ of the F-Series,” explains Du Plessis. “Style-wise the FX-Series is very similar to the F-Series, as it leads to ease of sharing of componentry and interchangeability of cabs.”
Many features have also been taken from what is standard on passenger cars, such as standard air-conditioning, radio, electric-powered windows and a driver airbag. Isuzu has included these features because the company recognises the driver as one of the most important members of the family. “Increasing his comfort increases the safety of the vehicle as a whole,” notes Du Plessis.
Although the cab looks very similar to that of the F-Series, it has had some modifications. “It looks much more aggressive than its little brother because it has been raised and forwarded in order to accommodate its much larger engine,” says Du Plessis. “The FX-Series also has a ‘bling-bling’ appearance with its chrome grille,” he laughs.
The FX, which is solely available in manual transmission, in order to remain competitive in the under R1 million category, complements Isuzu’s range. It can now be said that there is an F-Series line-up for every task and application; from a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of 10 000 kg to a GVM of 28 000 kg, and Gross Combined Mass (GCM) of 16 000 kg to 45 000 kg.
The FX-Series itself fits between the F-Series and the Isuzu Gigamax – which is an extra-heavy commercial vehicle. It is powered by an Isuzu common-rail turbo-intercooled engine providing 265 kW (360 hp) at 2 000 r/min and 1 422 Nm at 1 400 r/min.
The vehicles also offer Euro 3 engines – a definite proactive step forward for Japanese makes. This is part of Isuzu’s environmental care package, which also includes standard exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). EGR controls nitrous oxide exhaust emissions through reduced combustion temperatures. In terms of engine compliancy, Isuzu is ahead of South Africa’s specifications and Du Plessis assures that Isuzu is ready to progress even further as soon as the suitable fuel is available.
Having dealt with economy and the environment, Isuzu also had to pay attention to the safety aspect, which it sees as the most important part of its SEE (safety economy and environment) philosophy. The entire FX-Series is equipped with a full-air ABS breaking system, which is assisted by a standard engine exhaust on every model and an electromagnetic retarder on the GXR 40-360.
A definite benefit to operators is that the freight-carrier models have an increased front axle capacity, which can be fully utilised. Isuzu has matched tyre load-ability to axle-capacity; 315/80R22.5 tyres have been fitted as standard to match Isuzu’s front axle rating of 7 500 kg – the legal permissible rating for the entire range.
“The new Isuzu FX-Series at the top of the F-Series range now completes our model line-up,” says Craig Uren, chief operating officer at Isuzu Truck South Africa. “We are able to offer a GVM and matching power for every application and terrain. There are many areas of southern Africa where trucks need the additional torque, GVM and GCM that our FX-Series models offer – it’s all part of a transport solution where our real focus is on parts and service. The new FX-Series really places Isuzu’s product offering in a formidable position,” he concludes.