The tradition of General Motors and Isuzu sharing small pickups stretches back nearly forty years, but the all-new Isuzu D-Max pickup for the Thai market has a new twist: it’s based on a Chevrolet.
Outside of the United States, GM’s global small-truck offerings have traditionally been designed, engineered, and at times, produced by the Japanese truck manufacturer. But the new D-Max, which was unveiled in Thailand earlier this week, is different. The truck is based off the all-new Chevrolet Colorado, a vehicle whose development was spearheaded by GM engineers in Brazil.
For the most part, the D-Max appears to be a clone of the new Colorado, especially aft of the A-pillars. The Isuzu, however, receives a visual identity of its own, thanks to an mild facelift. A new, aggressive front fascia with angular headlamps does away with the Colorado’s Malibu-like snout.
The D-Max does differ a little its Colorado when it comes to powertrain. Isuzu shares one engine – a 2.5-liter turbo-diesel I-4 – with the Chevrolet, but offers it in two forms, one producing 116 hp and 206 lb-ft of torque, and another that yields 135 hp and 235 lb-ft.
Those seeking additional power can upgrade to Isuzu’s 3.0-liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder, which produces 177 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. All engines are available with either a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic (the Colorado, it should be noted, is offered with a six-speed automatic).
The new D-Max will go on sale in Thailand shortly, and will be exported to several other markets, including Australia, in the first quarter of 2012. The company is also reportedly planning an SUV variant – likely based off the new 2013 Chevrolet TrailBlazer – to replace the Thai MU7 model, which is derived from the previous-generation D-Max.