The D-Max has been kitted out by Iceland’s Arctic Trucks, a specialist outfit that is making them for Isuzu in the UK.
Arctic Trucks has been re-engineering four-wheel-drives since the 1990s, most of them Toyotas for use in extreme conditions.
But its reworked Isuzu D-Max is the first of its products to go on sale through a mainstream manufacturer’s dealer network.
That means New Zealanders who want one can ask for help from the Isuzu Trucks NZ head office in Auckland, or go direct to Isuzu dealers in the UK. Price there for the Arctic Truck D-Max is around £30,000 ($NZ61,000).
Isuzu Trucks NZ marketing manager Gareth Lowdnes is boning up on the special model. “We are always on the lookout for new opportunities,” he said. “If there is demand (for the Arctic D-Max) from this end, we could take it further.”
The D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 – its official moniker – is available in single or double-cab configurations. It uses the standard Isuzu 2.5-litre 120kW/400Nm twin-turbo diesel engine and five-speed automatic gearbox, and retains the standard one-tonne payload and 3.5-tonne braked towing capacity,
A lift kit jacks the ride 125mm higher than the standard D-Max, and it rides on 35-inch Nokian Rotiiva AT off-road tyres on 17×10-inch wheels.
Flared wheelarches cover the enormous rubber and Fox Performance shocks improve mobility over the worst terrain.
A range of extras to further enhance the rugged looks – and capability – include an Arctic Trucks roll bar and load bay protector, plus skid plates, a 27-LED work light and an ARB tyre inflator.
Arctic Trucks was founded in 1998 by Icelander Emil Grimsson. He’d been marketing manager for Toyota Iceland and saw the opportunity to modify Hiluxes and Prados to better cope with the country’s unique conditions. They were an instant hit with Icelanders.
Further development over the years included remodelling the basic ladder frame chassis to ensure the suspension geometry, ride quality and basic dynamics were not compromised by the additional ride height and to keep the factory warranty intact.
Grimsson has since succeeded in building a global business with military contracts for the Norwegian and Swedish armies and creating a range of even harder-core 6×6 HiLuxes for use within scientific research stations in Antartica.