Isuzu PH recently gave a fresh boost to their pickup and SUV contenders with the upgraded versions of their flagship 3.0-liter 4JJ1-TC engine. Now equipped with a VGS turbo, the 4JJ1-TC can effectively compete with the latest arsenal of engines introduced by competing brands.

4JJ1-TC VGS Turbo engine

Both the D-Max pickup and mu-X SUV will now be available with 4JJ1-TC (HI) 3.0-liter commonrail diesel with VGS (variable geometry system) turbo which now produces 163 PS @ 3200 rpm and 380 Nm of torque from 1800 to 2200 rpm. This, according to Isuzu, "provides plenty of power, translating to less gear changes, effortless hill climbing and easier off-road driving." The automaker also says that despite the power boost, it will still maintain the same fuel efficiency that Isuzu engines are known for.

Isuzu mu-X, D-Max test vehicles

To demonstrate the advantages, Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) flew members of the media to the Isuzu Technical Center Asia proving ground in Chacheongsao, Thailand. At the test course, we were given a chance to try both the D-Max and mu-X  in its high-speed course to get a feel of its improved acceleration and the vehicle’s handling and stability at speed.

At the proving ground 

“Today we all have the opportunity to drive what would be Isuzu’s latest offering to the Filipino market, the 3.0 VGS Turbo of our D-MAX and mu-X models,” said IPC President Hajime Koso. “This is our response to those who are looking for power, aside from that, these variants also boasts fuel-efficiency and durability at the most,” he adds.

IPC has also announced that 3.0-liter VGS Turbo equipped variants of the D-Max will now come with a tailgate-mounted reverse camera. The top-trim mu-X meanwhile gets new LED daytime running lamps (DRL) and a chrome muffler finisher.

Isuzu Technical Center Asia

The proving ground visit also gave us an insight into how the Japanese automaker tests and develops their reliable vehicles. From the speed and stability course where we got to drive on to a special concrete road which 'punishes' vehicles by simulating pot holes, stepping stones, undulation, and the Belgium Blocks road (consists of uneven granite bricks). A 40-meter slopeway also tests for the power and torque of vehicles for climbing mountain roads and, lastly, a 10,000-square meter skid pad further subjects vehicles to handling tests.

Isuzu mu-X, 

This reliability has enabled the brand to endure the ever competitive Philippine automotive business.

iPC president Hajime Koso, SVP Art Balmadrid

The Isuzu nameplate has always been thought of as the "living legend" of Philippine roads. Much thanks go to their ever-enduring diesel engines powering jeepneys, which bring commuters around town, trucks that carry goods, and ships that ferry passengers and cargo from coast to coast. Not to be forgotten is the long-enduring Crosswind which has sold more than 85,000 units and continues to contribute to IPC’s sales figures which recently surpassed the 200,000 unit milestone.

Thrill hill 

In celebration of its recent milestone and to give the public an experience of the performance of its new engines, IPC is hosting its Off Road Fest from November 27 to 29 at the Bonifacio Global City. Highlighted by the 20-foot climb as the "thrill hill",  guests will experience vehicles going up an inclined steel ramp to fully experience the capability of the new 4JJ1-TC VGS engines. A test course featuring an articulation ramp station, roller slips and 40-degree traverse angle ramp will also demonstrate the vehicle’s off-road capability for adventure seekers or heavy duty users.