Bold and beefy: newly unveiled Isuzu D-Max looks ready for battle
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Arctic Trucks. It's a name that should be familiar to a few people.
If you hang around Driven, you might've heard of them. If you like lifted, terrain-tackling behemoths, then you might've heard of them. And if you're a frequent viewer of Top Gear, you might've also heard of them.
In short, they're Iceland's one-stop-shop off-roading pick-up specialists. They were the group at the helm of Toyota's retro-cool Back to the Future Hilux throwback late last year, as well as the equally awesome full-size 'remote control' Bruiser Hilux the year previous. And of course, they also built the Hilux's that Top Gear's most famous trio took to Antarctica.
And the first thing you'll notice looking at their latest creation, is that they've branched out a little.
This is the Isuzu D-Max AT35 Safir, as revealed at the 2019 Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham in the UK (think Geneva, but with less suits and more facial hair).
Isuzu and Arctic Trucks already have a bit of an existing relationship, having co-developed the standard D-Max AT35 that was released in its second generation late last year for the European market. But, this Safir edition steps things up at least a couple of notches.
The AT35 upon which the Safir is based comes with a lifted suspension set-up from Fox Performance — the same Fox as that which supplies suspension to Ford's Raptor line-up, including the Ranger Raptor. That technology is combined with a 17-inch by 10-inch wheel and a huge 35-inch off-road Nokian Rotiiva tyre. And, both of these elements remain on this new Safir edition.
The difference now in wheel set-up comes in the form of new Hyper Dark diamond-cut wheels, with a revised aluminium bash-plate providing additional protection for the important stuff between the front wheels.
Further aiding the off-roading experience is two sets of new LED laser lights; the first being a roof-mounted light bar and the second nestled in the D-Max's secondary grill.
There's plenty of change inside, too. Along with Arctic Truck embroidery on the head-rests, the Safir also gets leather seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, a nine-speaker audio system with new subwoofer, and a revised 9-inch touchscreen.
Those running around with the latest smart phone will get a wireless charger to play with, too, while the driver gets the added assuredness of an additional front-mounted camera. Perfect for spotting debris in blind-spots while on the off-road trail.
Just 10 of these AT35 Safir editions are set to be built, and all of them are to be sold in the UK. But, perhaps one day Isuzu's New Zealand arm could produce something similar to take on the likes of the Ranger Raptor and HSV SportsCat.