Gracing the Davao leg of the Isuzu D-MAX 4×4 Drive Series were Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) EVP Takashi Tomita (4th from left) and Isuzu Davao President and General Manager Frank Liu, Jr. (3rd from right). Other Isuzu executives present during the opening ceremony, from left, IPC Consultant for Manufacturing Tadao Takenouchi, IPC VP for Administration Akira Okumura, IPC VP for Sales Daisuke Inaba, Isuzu Davao VP for Sales and Marketing Kim Liu, and Isuzu Davao VP for Parts and Service Jockson Liu
THE Isuzu D-MAX 4×4 has successfully demonstrated its unmatched capabilities in tackling tough terrain to thousands of truck lovers and off-road driving enthusiasts coming from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. But the popular pickup model faced—and, more importantly, surpassed—its biggest challenge at the final leg of the driving series that was designed to showcase its performance.
Called the 2014 Isuzu D-MAX 4×4 Drive Series, the event kicked off in April in Pampanga, moved to Bacolod and Cebu in May, then to Cagayan de Oro in early June, before finishing amazingly in Davao City. The fifth and final leg, held from June 20 to 22 at the Dakudao Estate on JP Laurel Avenue, Lanang, Davao City (beside SM Lanang), completed the driving activity’s theme of “One Challenge, Five Destinations.”
And rise to the challenge the Dabawenos did as they took to the specially designed off-road course. Unlike in the previous four legs where the tracks were laid out across vacant spaces, in Davao it was closer to terrain traversed in rainforest challenges. Participants had to navigate their way through heavy, jungle-like foliage as they followed the land’s natural terrain. Making the experience more demanding were the occasional rains, which made the track slippery and treacherous.
The Isuzu D-MAX 4×4 traversing rainforest challenges with slippery and treacherous track due to its natural course and occasional rain.
The course also featured obstacles that put the D-MAX 4×4’s power, maneuverability and traction to the test. The obstacles included 40-degree hill climb done in first gear and in second gear; 40-degree hill climb with a stall midway up; 40-degree descent without braking; lateral climb mount; driving over “elephant holes”; tackling trail ruts; camber right and camber left sides up in 45-degree angles; traversing a roundabout cone; lateral descent ditch crossing; and, driving over cross axle articulation rails.
The guests who trooped to the venue and who were able to try and experience for themselves the off-road capabilities of the D-MAX 4×4 claimed that the pickup truly addresses their requirement for a durable, reliable and fuel-efficient workhorse. In Davao, this takes on significant relevance as almost half of the place’s total land area is classified as a forest, with agriculture the largest economic sector. Davao City, meanwhile, is the third most populous in the Philippines after Metro Manila and Cebu City, which means the city—a hub for trade, commerce and industry in Mindanao—is progressive and urbanized.
“It is notable that Davao has always been included in our D-MAX 4×4 Drive Series since it began in 2008. This only means that Dabawenos are one of the strongest supporters of Isuzu products in the country. For this, allow me to extend my sincere gratitude on behalf of Isuzu Philippines Corporation and our dealer, Isuzu Davao,” IPC Executive Vice President Takashi Tomita said at the opening of the event.
In the driving exercises lined up on the D-MAX 4×4 track, the hundreds of participants were able to learn some of the special skills required in going off-road—especially in wet and wild conditions. They received instructions from certified experts at off-road driving.
Like in all four previous editions of the D-MAX 4×4 Drive Series, the experience stressed to the participants the advantages offered by four-wheel-drive vehicles. The D-MAX boasts of one of the highest ground clearances among pickups with a 235mm height for the LS 4×4 and 225mm for the LT 4×4 variants. Isuzu’s new 4WD Terrain Command Select Dial also allows the driver to switch from two-wheel drive to four-wheel drive high even while traveling at speeds of up to 100kph. Boosting the pickup’s off-road capabilities are its 30-degree approach angle, 22.7-degree departure angle, the ability to be tilted sideways on a 49-degree slope, and a Limited Slip Differential that lets it tackle any obstacle. The D-MAX has a suspension system composed of independent double wishbone with coil springs in front and semi-elliptical over-slung leaf springs in the rear.
“In the market today, truly the Isuzu D-MAX offers the best value for your hard-earned money,” Tomita said.
The 2014 D-MAX 4×4 Drive Series is the third and the biggest mounted by IPC. The first two editions of the event were held in 2008, which took on three locations, and in 2010, which traveled across four venues. Next up for the D-MAX are many more activities as IPC presses on with its effort to reach out directly to its target market. In the meantime, present and potential customers of the D-MAX and of Isuzu’s popular model lineup can visit any of the 21 authorized Isuzu dealerships nationwide for test drives or to avail of new promos. They may also log on to www.isuzuphil.com for updates and other information.