By Manny N. de los Reyes

A LITTLE OVER a decade and a half has passed since Isuzu introduced what would become one of its most iconic diesel workhorses — and now the Japanese commercial vehicle specialist rolls out the most stylish and fully equipped iteration of its pickup yet, the D-MAX LS-A.

The D-MAX LS-A represents nearly a hundred years of Isuzu’s experience and innovation in the design, engineering, and manufacture of diesel-powered utility vehicles. The D-MAX LS-A is infused, as well, with features that address the demands of a market that value both hard work and play, and business with leisure.

At the heart of the D-MAX LS-A is the powerful and fuel-efficient 4JJ1-TCX 3.0-liter 4-cylinder Blue Power Diesel engine with VGS turbo intercooler that generates 177ps and 380Nm of torque. Initially available only as a 4×4 variant, Isuzu announced that the LS-A will also be offered in 4×2 variants in the coming months. Both variants will have a choice between a 6-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift or a 6-speed manual with gear shift indicator.

The powerplant and drivetrain, however, are just the starting points for what makes the new D-MAX LS-A perfectly suited for the evolving modern demands of the market. Inside and out, the LS-A comes in a complete package of features that cater to the modern Filipino lifestyle — the lifestyle that maximizes the best qualities of the urban professional and the weekend adventurer.

Boasting contemporary exterior styling, the LS-A has a dark gray grille and bumper, coupled with side step board and rocker panel, cargo extender and roof rails.

Inside the LS-A, you’ll find auto-climate control air-conditioning system, passive entry/push start-stop system, a 12-volt accessory socket, three USB charging ports, plus no less than 15 storage compartments and 10 cupholders.

IPC President Hajime Koso describes the concept behind the D-MAX LS-A: “Introduced in 2003, the Isuzu D-MAX pickup has sold more than 46,000 units so far and continues to be one of the country’s most popular pickup models for its durability, fuel efficiency, and overall value for money. The new Isuzu D-MAX LS-A joins the ranks of premium pickups with its stylish yet functional design and competitive pricing without compromising the D-MAX’s core value of being “Tough Enough for Anything.”

In his special message at the launch, Isuzu Motors Limited Sales Executive Officer Hirokazu Okubo traces Isuzu’s experience with the pickup design to nearly a century back: “The first vehicle Isuzu produced in the market in 1922 was a pickup truck, taking note of our expertise on the product and most especially on diesel engine technology.”

He added: “Worldwide, the Isuzu D-MAX is trusted in countries like Thailand, Australia, and the United Kingdom, certainly because of its design and functionality that have gone through rigorous testing and development. The new Isuzu D-MAX LS-A variant will be a great addition to the very competitive local pickup truck market.”

The new D-MAX LS-A comes in Cosmic Black, Sapphire Blue, Titanium Silver, Red Spinel, Splash White, and Silky Pearl White. Prices start at P1,630,000 for the 4×4 MT and P1,700,000 for the 4×4 AT.