Posts Tagged ‘dmax’
The results are in for the D-MAX on safety after the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) accessed and calculated the data from the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP), and the result is not as good as maybe it should be. The all-new Isuzu D-Max ute received a four-star safety rating but was marked by NCAP as one of the safest vehicles in its segment. The D-MAX received 83 per cent in the adult occupant category, scoring maximum points for the protection it provides in the side-barrier test, thanks to its new, stronger, longer and wider chassis (compared to its predecessor). Euro NCAP also praised the front and rear head restraints for providing good protection against whiplash injuries in a rear-end collision. The D-MAX’s full complement of safety equipment contributed to the D-MAX’s joint-class-leading score of 71 per cent in the safety assist category. In the child occupant category, the new D-MAX scored 67 per cent. Euro NCAP evidence also illustrated the Isuzu D-MAX out-scored its rival the VW Amarok which was awarded a five-star ANCAP rating in Australia (when crash tested in Australia). Compared with the Amarok, Euro NCAP awarded the Isuzu D-MAX higher scores for child occupant protection (67 per cent to 64 per cent), pedestrian safety (51 per cent to 47 per cent) and safety assistance technology (71 per cent to 57 per cent). The only area in which the Amarok rated higher was adult occupant protection, scoring 86 per cent versus the Isuzu D-MAX’s 83 per cent. Under ANCAP’s rating system, the All-New Isuzu D-MAX fell 2.02 points short of the mandatory score in the frontal offset crash test required for a five-star rating (10.48 – 12.5 required). “The 4-star ANCAP safety rating for the D-Max is an improvement on the rating of the former model but with an increasing number of fleets now requiring 5 star vehicles, and consumers also purchasing these utes for family transport, safety should be the priority when making the purchasing decision,” said ANCAP Chairman, Mr Lauchlan McIntosh. Isuzu has invested heavily in providing the All-New Isuzu D-MAX with a full-suite of the latest safety features including 4-channel 4-sensor Anti-skid Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS) along with six (6) airbags (dual front, curtain and side) to ensure it is one of the safest light-commercial vehicles on the market today. Although ANCAP continue to encourage buys to accept nothing less than 5 stars of safety, the D-MAX is still better than some utes on the market but with all the work the company put into the development, the 4 star rating is a disappointment and something that really should have been addressed in design.
The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) expressed its concerns about the 4 star ANCAP safety ratings for the single / space cab Holden Colorado and Isuzu D-Max utilities. The 4 star ANCAP safety rating for the single / space cab Holden Colorado utilities closely follows the 5 star ANCAP safety rating achieved by the crew (dual) cab Colorado earlier this year. A difference in safety specifications means there is a higher risk of serious occupant injury in the single / space cab Colorado’s and the D-Max than the Colorado crew cab. The single / space cab Colorado variants are fitted with only single pre-tensioners for the seat belts and a driver seat belt reminder (SBR) compared with dual pre-tensioners and driver and front passenger SBRs which are standard on the crew cab. “The 4 star ANCAP safety rating for the D-Max is an improvement on the rating of the former model but with an increasing number of fleets now requiring 5 star vehicles, and consumers also purchasing these utes for family transport, safety should be the priority when making the purchasing decision,” said ANCAP Chairman, Mr Lauchlan McIntosh. “The 5 star ANCAP safety rating of the Colorado crew cabs should be praised; however a 4 star result for the single / space cab models is disappointing,” Mr McIntosh added. “Like the single / space cab Colorado’s, the shared-platform D-Max also has only single pre-tensioners resulting in the 4 star ANCAP safety rating,” said Mr McIntosh. “While the Colorado’s pedestrian protection result was ‘Acceptable’, the D-Max’s was ‘Marginal’. ANCAP would like to see manufacturers all targeting the top level of pedestrian protection to reduce injuries to unprotected road users,” Mr McIntosh concluded. ANCAP continues to encourage both private and commercial consumers to ‘accept nothing less’ than 5 star safety ratings across passenger and light commercial vehicles.
Off-road racing champion Bruce Garland has ticked another box for his 2013 Dakar Rally campaign, with the Isuzu D-MAX racing ute now in a shipping container on the high seas. The Isuzu Motorsports crew finished their final pre-Dakar preparations in Perth last week, after an unsuccessful run in the 27th Australasian Safari. The five-time winners of the event, Garland and navigator Harry Suzuki were forced to withdraw after clipping a gatepost and bending the chassis of the D-MAX. With Dakar being the priority, they opted not to do a rushed repair job to continue competing. Instead, they returned to Perth to carry out a full repair and service – as well as changing components and set-up to meet Dakar specifications – before loading the D-MAX on a freighter. “Not getting a result in the Safari was extremely disappointing, but we’re on a mission for next year’s Dakar, and that had to be where we kept our focus,” Garland says. “We were going to be tight on time to get the race car ready for the ship, so not finishing the Safari gave us a bit more breathing space and allowed us to get everything right. The D-MAX is pretty much ready to race as soon as it touches land in South America.” Garland has unfinished business with the world’s most gruelling off-road event. He’s been laid off from competition for more than 18 months after fracturing a vertebra during the 2011 Dakar. Two months later, still recovering from that injury and on holidays in Melbourne, he had a heart attack. Five bypasses were done by the specialist team at Melbourne’s MonashHeart. Garland and Suzuki’s best result in the Dakar was 11th outright and first diesel ute home in the 2009 event, but they are chasing a top 10 finish for the 2013 Dakar, which will run through Chile, Argentina and Peru next January. The Isuzu Motorsports crew will fly out for South America at the end of the year. Between now and then, Garland is spending a month in Africa, working as a precision driver, filming scenes for the new Mad Max movie, Fury Road. “Some of the best stunt drivers from around the world are involved, so I’m really looking forward to working with them. It should be a lot of fun and a bit of a break before all the hard work starts in South America.”
You see it all the time, the young pretty thing that once commanded all the attention and turned all the heads. Then 20 or so years later, the ravages of time have done their worst and the pretty young thing is now well and truly the desperate old maid trying to stay relevant and attractive. Whether they are known as the aforementioned old maid, a cougar or just scary Aunt Mary that you avoid at all wedding receptions, they all are better looked at in nostalgic photo albums or through some serious booze-goggles. In the cold hard metal (or aluminium) of the automotive landscape, this cycle, from hot to not, evolves much quicker and the old maids appear even more desperate. It is also much harder to ignore an automotive Aunty Mary parading her muffler to anyone game enough to look sideways. A culprit of this desperation is the former diamond in the rough, the Mitsubishi Triton. When first released it was unlike any other ute, in both design cues, style and in finish. It attracted… no, it demanded a lot of attention for its looks. Even when the Triton was updated to be more tradie friendly, it maintained and continued to be admired for its dramatic stagecoach design. But now, just about every automotive brand with a light commercial vehicle in their stable has dropped a big new shiny ute baby into the world, and I mean big. The new crop of Rangers, Colorado, D-MAX and BT-50s are bigger and better than their former selves and unfortunately for Mitsubishi, much bigger and much better than the aging Triton. Even the long maligned Ssanyong have a somewhat interesting ute product, which if you squint from a distance, is up there with the big boys from Detroit and Tokyo. So what does the former beauty queen do to hide this shame of decreased attention and lack of sustained desire? It doesn’t, instead goes to town and plasters itself all over the TV and newspapers. What’s more, rather than featuring its attractiveness or features, it simply hooks itself on price. Sure this will get cash-strapped tradies and frugal grey nomads all hot, deep down in the zippers of their wallets, but it smacks of desperation pure and simple. Would you be proud to drive what was once the beauty queen now pitched firmly at the consumers of products from the Wall of Greatness? No doubt the team from Mitsubishi will soon be asking the buying public to ‘please consider’ their own sexy new release beauty queen. By then the Tritons competitors will already have two plus years jump on them, have eroded sales of Triton and created their own new loyal breed of devotees. The good news for the slightly aged Triton is that it need not feel like a sleazy Mrs Robinson for very long. Once its new incarnation appears, the current stars from Ford, Holden, Isuzu and Mazda will then become the former beauty queen who looked okay last night but now you find yourself seriously considering chewing off your own right arm to avoid… Written by Steven Henderson
When you hear the expression ‘tiger country’, you know you’re a deep into the Australian outback and that’s where Australasian Safari sent competitors on Wednesday. The course comprised remote countryside along the Gascoyne River, around the Kennedy Ranges, over dry creeks, claypans and fence lines. It finished in the small community of Gascoyne Junction where the Safari crew has increased the town’s population by 500 per cent. Wednesday’s moto competition saw Jake Smith increase his lead, and Warren Strange move into second position after Yamaha rider Rod Faggotter was out of Stage 9 with wheel bearing failure. Vern Strange moved into fourth and continues to lead the Dakar Challenge competition. Jake Smith said despite the difficult navigation required, he had no issues. “I had a good day. The tracks were really technical, it certainly wasn’t easy. It was pretty cool when you dropped down into the range – the scenery was pretty nice.” Warren Strange said he took the conservative approach with the interesting track. “The track was a challenge. I went sideways during the second stage, hit a rock and fell off but am not hurt. I rode conservatively to maintain my position, to preserve the tyres and the motor.” Ryan Ingham who has moved into sixth and currently the highest placed KTM rider, said he had a very good day. “The track was very rough and rocky and the bike is going perfect in it.” His manager Don McGrath chipped in: ”Tomorrow (Thursday) he’s gonna have to ride it like he stole it!” The quad leader, Paul Smith, said he had an awesome day. “I loved it. I got lost half way through the last stage, it was really technical but that’s the sort of riding I like – it’s keeping me on my toes. I saw two emus and the scenery is just beautiful – I’m getting the full fauna experience!” The Holden Colorado of John Hederics held the lead in the autos, now 33 minutes, with navigator Kees Weel with Production Class entry Rob Herridge and Sam Hill in the Subaru Forester in pursuit. Hederics said the second stage was really rough and rocky but the car was holding up well. “We’re trying to consolidate now and took it easy, we were happy to let other cars go past us. We’re glad to be back.” Nunzio Coffaro from Venezuela said Wednesday was like a movie finale! “There were three cars racing – the Holden (Hederics), The Isuzu (Di Lallo) and the Hilux (Coffaro). But we got a puncture during this time and we changed the tyre and caught up, then the Isuzu got a puncture. We’re using different tyres on Thursday.” Rob Herridge said they had a rough day on the course. “We decided to take it easy so we wouldn’t make any mistakes with the navigation, but we still got lost. “When we found our way again we got caught in someone else’s dust, the frustration set in then we got a puncture but we made up time in the last stage to finish on a high,” Herridge said. Rachan Trairat and Peerapong Sombutwong in an Isuzu D-Max had a dramatic day with a rollover in the first stage. They were not hurt and the mechanics are working to get the car back on track. The Australasian Safari has a double overnight stop in Gascoyne Junction, which was ravaged by floods in December 2010 with the highest water levels on record. Shire CEO Dirk Sellenger said the community had almost recovered and will soon have a new tavern, roadhouse and caravan park. Thursday’s course continues in the region with a 147km stage to start the day circumnavigating the huge pastoral station Bidgemia. Competitors will face a rough overgrown run and flood damaged river plains with many sandy creeks and river crossings. The huge 301km second stage follows a disused road including a stony floodway, fence lines, and hidden rocks. A highlight will be crossing the Gascoyne River finishing with fast flowing rally roads.