Isuzu Philippines Corp. has announced three rounds of its popular eco-driving event this year, but with a different customer-interactive component. The "Isuzu Challenge," which IPC has been holding since 2002 to showcase the fuel efficiency of its vehicles, will be staged in three separate runs featuring three Isuzu vehicles. The aim is to show the farthest distance that each vehicle can travel on just one full tank of diesel fuel.

First up is the N-Series truck, which will be driven from Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte going down west, from May 26 to 29. Next are the Crosswind from July 14 to 17, and the D-Max from October 20 to 24.

The twist this year is that the public can participate by guessing the total distance that each one of the three Isuzu vehicles will travel on a single full tank of fuel. Those who will get the correct distances (in kilometers and up to one decimal point) will win a brand-new unit of the specific Isuzu model used during the fuel-economy run. The deadline for submission of entries for the N-Series run is midnight of May 25. Meanwhile, the guessing periods for the Crosswind and D-Max runs are April 1 to July 13 and August 1 to October 19, respectively. Participants may log on to the contest website ( to submit their entries.

"We want not only to demonstrate the fuel economy of our vehicles, but also to make the event fun for our customers," said new IPC President Ryoji Yamazaki. "All they have to do is take a guess with regard to the total distances that the three Isuzu vehicles will travel on a full tank of fuel, and they get the chance to drive home a new vehicle just like that. There are no purchases required to join the contest."

The Isuzu Challenge was born in 2002, when the Trooper, the Fuego and the Crosswind were driven 89 kilometers from Alabang to Nasugbu in Batangas. A manual-transmission Crosswind was able to set a fuel-economy record of 36.48 kilometers to a liter.

A year later, the Isuzu Challenge was held in Cebu, Isabela and Manila. In Cebu, a manual-transmission Crosswind got an astounding 83.45 kilometers from a liter of fuel. In Isabela, a Trooper ran 62.70 kilometers for every liter. In Manila, a manual Crosswind achieved 43.50 kilometers to a liter. In the final round in which all the winners of the previous three legs competed, a Fuego got 48.51 kilometers from every liter of diesel.

The year 2004 saw Isuzu vehicles being driven 280 kilometers from Batangas to Dagupan. This time, a Fuego traveled 23.12 kilometers for every liter of fuel.
In 2005, IPC gave the event a new concept. How far would Isuzu vehicles travel with just P1,000 worth of diesel fuel in their tanks? The participants took off from Balintawak going to the Ilocos Region, and had up to 36 hours to consume their fuel. The big winner here was an Alterra, which was able to go the total distance of 715 kilometers.

In 2007, the Isuzu Challenge took Isuzu vehicles through a total of 1,764 kilometers from Manila to Mindanao. This included six geographical regions, four major islands and two RORO rides.

In 2009, Isuzu added an environmental component to the event by asking the participants to plant trees at their destination in Pampanga. Clearly, IPC has been able to use the much-awaited Isuzu Challenge not only to prove the frugality of its diesel engines, but also to call attention to various important issues in our community.

The Isuzu Challenge is now part of IPC's Diesel Mission campaign, the company's diesel-awareness program for 2010. The campaign, whose objective is to highlight Isuzu's superiority in the field of diesel technology, has four components: the Isuzu Dura-Mission, the Isuzu Farthest Mission, the Isuzu Eco-Mission, and the Isuzu Dyna Mission. The Isuzu Challenge falls under the "Farthest Mission" component.

For this year, the Isuzu Challenge is sponsored by Caltex Diesel with Techron D. Other supporters include Freego, JVC, AVT, Centro Manufacturing Corp., Home Depot, Smartlink, Matabungkay Beach Resort, Magnolia Fruit Drink and Magnolia Health Tea Beverages.