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Isuzu lets loose another limited-edition D-Max

Luxury workhorse: The Isuzu D-Max 'X-Runner' gains black leather seats with “ventilation perforations".

Special-edition ‘X-Runner’ adds Bluetooth, leather and chrome to Isuzu’s D-Max ute

Isuzu logo8 Apr 2011

ISUZU Ute Australia has released a limited-edition D-Max utility offering a claimed $5000 of extra value over the flagship LS ‘High Ride’ 4x2 and LS-U 4x4 crew-cab models upon which it is based.

The D-Max X-Runner gains black leather seats with “ventilation perforations” and Bluetooth connectivity, while cosmetically the grille and sports bar get chrome treatment, with the latter featuring an integrated high-mount brake light.

The special-edition also features slim-line side steps, foglight bezels, a bonnet protector garnish and ‘X-Runner’ side striping along the front guard panels.

Based on the LS 4x2, which retails for $36,300 before on-road costs, the manual X-Runner retails for $37,490 drive-away for ABN holders.

The top-spec LS-U 4x4 X-Runner retails for $42,990 drive-away in manual guise for ABN holders, compared to the standard LS-U 4x4’s retail of $42,500 (plus ORCs).

Both versions of the X-Runner – which is limited to a production run of 210 - are also available in automatic for an extra $2300 (4x2) and $2000 (4x4). Metallic paint will set buyers back an extra $300.

10 center imageLeft: The Chevrolet Colorado as revealed at the Bangkok motor show.

The X-Runner retains the punchy 3.0-litre turbo-diesel from the standard D-Max, which produces 120kW and 360Nm of torque (333Nm in the automatic) and offers a braked towing capacity of three tonnes for the 4x4 and 2.5 tonnes for the 4x2.

This latest limited-edition D-Max follows the release of the EX cab/chassis and SX space cab/chassis-based ‘Farm Mate’ from January, which also came with a claimed $5000 of extra features. Limited to a total of less than 100 examples, the Farm Mate came with a fully galvanized steel dropside tray, satin-black powder-coated steel bull bar, tow bar kit and Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity.

Last September Isuzu also released 180 luxuriously appointed D-Max ‘LE II’ special-edition crew-cabs ($47,390), with features such as a premium sound system with rear-view camera, Italian leather seats, full chrome bodywork and two exclusive paint colours.

The D-Max 4x4 claimed 480 sales and a 4.5 per cent market share in March, giving the Japanese workhorse year-on-year growth of 50.3 per cent compared to overall segment growth of 16 per cent.

The 4x2, meanwhile, grabbed 132 sales and 2.5 per cent market share for an improvement of 9.6 per cent over the same time last year. It was one of the few models to make gains in the 2WD light commercial segment so far in 2011, with the overall segment figures showing a 10.9 per cent fall compared to 2010.

Many of Australia’s most prominent brands - most notably Ford, Holden, Mitsubishi, Mazda and Nissan – are currently offering massive discounts in the hotly-contested light commercial segment, either in an attempt to match the cut throat prices of competitors or as ageing models are run out ahead of all-new vehicles.

As GoAuto reported in late-March, some popular dual-cab diesel four-wheel-drive utes that have list prices in the mid-$40,000 range (plus on-roads), have been slashed by up to $10,000 drive-away.

A new D-Max is also waiting in the wings for Isuzu, with Chevrolet recently unveiling its closely-related next-generation Colorado workhorse at the Bangkok motor show in Thailand, where both new models will continue to be built.

Unlike the almost identical current generation, however, Isuzu’s new D-Max and the Lion-badged Colorado will be far more significantly differentiated.

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