Jude P. Morte / | November 18, 2005 00:00Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC or Isuzu) has grown to be an indispensable part of the life of the average Pinoy, whether it's the diesel engines powering the public utility vehicle (PUV) and transport sector or the monster engines that move the country's different marine modes of transportation. In short, the country has been weaned for generations on Isuzu power.
In order to make the motoring public ride further on generation Isuzu, IPC recently launched two new products – the 2006 Crosswind and a new company website.
Ever since its incarnation as a better version of its Hi-Lander Asian Utility Vehicle (AUV), the Crosswind has been one of the cornerstone vehicles of the Gen Isuzu campaign. But in order to be a step or three ahead of its competitors, Isuzu launched the 2006 Crosswind, retaining much of its previous features and featuring serious refinement of what it can offer the public.
Isuzu maintains the five Crosswind variants – XL, XT, XUV, XUVi and the top-of-the-line Sportivo – but with new packages that enhance power and torque delivery to all four wheels or provide excellent aesthetic and creature comforts. The entry-level XL and the middle-grade XT offer only a five-speed manual transmission (m/t) shifter, while the rest of the Crosswind variants offer a five-speed manual shifter or a four-speed automatic transmission (a/t) gearbox with overdrive.
On the features side, the XUV, XUVi and the top-of-the-line Sportivo will sport the following: chrome side mirrors (with LED signal lamps), full-body cladding with overfenders, anodized aluminum side stepboards (with black end caps), black anodized aluminum roof rails (with matte black finish for the middle and end legs) and a rear spoiler with an integrated third brake lamp. Only the Sportivo offers an underside deflector that covers the undercarriage and engine.
The Corsswind XUVi and Sportivo feature a single disc in-dash DVD/CD/MP3 head unit, a remote control (for rear passengers), six speakers, and dual seven-inch widescreen LCD monitors mounted within the rear part of the driver and front passenger headrests. The Sportivo also features an audio/video input jack (with inverter) as well as a universal MP3 player adaptor socket.
All Crosswind variants share the same 2.5-liter Isuzu diesel engine (with air optimizer fuel system), with the m/t variant putting out 81 PS at 3900 rpm and 17 kg-m of torque at 2300 rpm and the a/t variant (with low-charge turbo) putting out 85 PS@3900 rpm and 18.9 kg-m of torque@2000 rpm. Also, all Crosswinds retain the same chassis, featuring an independent double wishbone and torsion bar spring (with stabilizer bar) front suspension, a semi-elliptical leaf spring and Isuzu's own Flex Ride Suspension System at the rear. The aforementioned suspension system allows the Crosswind to provide a stable and soft yet comfortable ride for rear passengers.
The 2006 Crosswind is available in Tornado Red, Starry Black, Imperial Gold (Sportivo only), Heather Green (XUVi only), Dune Gray (XUVi and XUV only), Alpine White (XUV, XUVi and XL only), Magma Red (XUV only), Crystal Blue (XT only) and Light Silver (XT and XL only). Light silver is the color of the lower body portions in the two-tone models of the Crosswind XUV.
The 2006 Crosswind is pegged at the following prices: P1.085M (Sportivo a/t), P1.020M (Sportivo m/t), P1.060M (XUVi a/t), P995,000 (XUVi m/t and XUV a/t), P940,000 (XUV m/t), P799,500 (XT m/t) and P725,000 (XL m/t).
IPC is aware that the people with purchasing power have been weaned on the Internet and information on demand. Hence, IPC has come up with a new site (www.isuzuphil.com) that caters to typewriter-savvy and computer-savvy customers. It boasts of improved interactive features (including excellent videos and animation of the different Isuzu vehicles), a wealth of information about IPC and its role as a responsible partner to its customers and the community via the SEE (Safety, Economy, Environment) program and the opportunity to check out the latest Isuzu vehicles (including spec sheets, price lists and inside/outside features). One can even simulate the looks of the vehicle by changing the color of the body paint from the range of available colors of each variant fore better appreciation.
On the aforementioned website, one can also check out Isuzu's Powertrain venture, where brand-new Isuzu powertrains (engines complete with transmissions) and engine components are distributed throughout the country for industrial, marine and automotive applications.
"I learned to appreciate the importance of the Internet from the younger generation who grew up with computers – using it for education, communication and keeping up with the latest trends. That's why we are launching or new and much improved website – to keep abreast and stay in touch with Generation Isuzu. Through this site Generation Isuzu can finds links on our website that will enable them to get in touch with the nearest dealership and find out about prices and sales promos," said Art Balmadrid, IPC vice-president for corporate business.