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The old Isuzu bakkie will live on as the Gen 6

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Recently, the locally engineered and manufactured 7th generation Isuzu D-Max bakkie went off the production line at the Struandale facility. We at Rhinoman cannot wait to see the first seventh-generation Isuzu bakkies on South African roads – and of course to fit them with Rhinoman canopies.

Along with the new, seventh-generation one-tonner, which will be launched in South Africa in April, Isuzu Motors will keep numerous models of the current D-Max bakkie as cheaper options.

These sixth-generation pickups will offer more cost-effective choices for buyers looking for workhorse pickups with fewer frills, thanks to a dual product strategy. In South Africa, the so-called Gen 6 bakkies will be available in five single- and double-cab versions at attractive prices.

The Gen 6 will continue to be built alongside the new D-Max at Isuzu’s Gqeberha facility. The first seventh-generation bakkie rolled off the assembly line a few weeks ago, with the model range and pricing to be released soon. It will be sold in South Africa and export markets across the continent.

The locally-built D-Max, formerly known as the KB for many years, is one of South Africa’s most popular bakkies, and the seventh-generation model features a fresh design as well as a slew of technology and safety enhancements.

“Our strategy is to assist Isuzu’s objectives by maintaining Gen 6 vehicles that have performed exceptionally well in the workhorse class,” says Dominic Rimmer, senior vice-president of technical operations at Isuzu Motors.

Two of Isuzu’s current 2.5l turbo-diesel engines are used in Gen 6. The base model produces 58kW of power and 176Nm of torque, with a claimed fuel economy of 7.9 liters per 100 kilometers.

The high output (HO) engine produces 100kW and 320Nm, with fuel consumption of 7.6 liters per 100 kilometers for the five-speed manual and 8.1 liters per 100 kilometers for the five-speed automatic.

All Gen 6 models are rear-wheel drives with dual front airbags, but the entry-level 250C is a blue-collar bakkie with no air conditioning or radio, and power steering is its only concession to comfort.

The Fleetside variant adds air conditioning, while the Safety variant adds ABS brakes and stability control. However, you’ll need a Hi-Ride model to obtain extras like electric mirrors, electric windows, remote central locking, an audio system, and a 25mm increase in ground clearance.

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