Remember the Isuzu VT-02 concept shown at the Philippine International Motor Show last year? A year since that was shown, it's coming to us in production form by next month with a new name: the Traviz.
Essentially, it is the Philippine-market version of the Traga, which has been available in Indonesia for quite some time already. However, we reported that there were two production hurdles that it needed to overcome before it could be sold here. First, it is made in Indonesia and is in right-hand drive configuration. Second is its engine. The version sold in Indonesia uses a Euro II engine, which won't pass here in the country. With its launch next month, it looks like Isuzu Philippines has found a way to resolve these issues.
It is likely that the Indonesia plant adapted their facilities to build left-hand drive models, but don't rule out the possibility of it being assembled in Santa Rosa, Laguna. As for the engine, Isuzu may have found a Euro IV mill that fits within its chassis. There are no exact engine specifications at the time of writing.
We won't expect much changes to its exterior design from VT-02 to Traviz; after all, it is the Traga. What could be different is the rear body configuration. Last year, it had a passenger carrier box at the back and that's still subject to change for the production version. It's also shorter and lighter than the platforms used by the N-Series medium-duty truck, making it ideal for smaller businesses.
What we haven't seen is its interior. Again, it will likely be the same as the Indonesian Traga, albeit with the wheel on the left side. Of course, don't expect any luxuries in it, this is a commercial vehicle after all. Still, it looks modern for what is essentially a heavy-duty hauler.
Once the Traviz is launched, it has one key rival to match or surpass. That would be the re-engineered L300, now sporting a Euro IV engine. It will be interesting to see how the all-new hauler will stack up against the tried and tested Mitsubishi.