Where would you usually see carbon fiber? No, we're not talking about the sticker some people wrap around the hood. We're talking about real carbon fiber here. Normally, we'd see them in megabucks sports cars or dedicated track day runners. Where we don't usually find them is on a pick-up.
The thing is, it seems to be a trend in Thailand now, and the manufacturers are taking notice. Standing proudly at the Isuzu booth at the 2020 Bangkok International Motor Show are two D-Max pick-ups sporting a whole lot of carbon fiber and performance goodies.
The first one is based on the dual-cab body of the D-Max. It then loses the steel hood, fenders, and rear doors in favor of carbon fiber panels. But it's not just the cosmetics that they changed. The truck has been lowered, given a beefier set of tires, and it seems that they even fitted it Endless brakes and calipers. Isuzu also threw in a pair of bucket seats and a gauge of some sort inside for good measure. No power upgrades we mentioned, but given that the brakes have been upgraded, it might just have a few more horses under the hood.
The other D-Max has the extended cab body, essentially giving it a longer bed. But given what Isuzu had done to it, we don't think it will be hauling any time soon. Like the modded dual-cab D-Max, this one has its suspension lowered with a wider wheel and tire combination. It also has an aggressive ground effect kit and there's a wing mounted to the tailgate as well.
There's less carbon fiber in the extended cab, but it is present on the hood and the part where the factory side mirrors were. What caught our attention was the roll cage in the truck and the Sparco bucket seats. The other two things that caught our attention was the “Safety Car” windshield banner and the lightbar on its roof. What Isuzu displayed could be the Safety Car for the Thailand Super Pickup series for the upcoming season. If that's what the pace car looks like, the racing version of the D-Max could look even meaner.
No, Isuzu isn't getting into the performance car market (as far as we know), but seeing the D-Max getting decked out for the race track is an amusing sight nonetheless. It's worth patting Isuzu on the back for defying convention too, as we'd typically pick-ups getting lifted, not lowered. After seeing a lot of these pick-ups getting jacked up, it is refreshing to a different take in pick-up modding.