Evolution of the Isuzu Pick-Up Truck


Published on September 29th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Evolution of the Isuzu Pick-Up Truck


It’s been a long and bumpy road for the trusted Isuzu pick-up truck, but it’s a journey that has only gotten better and sweeter over the years.

Of all the vehicles that have ever rolled off the assembly lines, none has experienced such a storied and vast evolution as the Isuzu pick-up truck. First conceived as a workhorse automobile designed specifically for utilitarian purposes, the humble flatbed truck has evolved and has now found its place as an everyday commute. Exuding a sporty and rugged appeal, Isuzu pick-up trucks offer the benefit of utilitarian value and increased self-image for their owners. And it has been an on-going progression that has continued ever since the early 60s…

Flight of The Wasp
Modelled after the Isuzu Bellett passenger car, the Wasp hit the open road in 1963 as a tough, durable, heavy-duty pick-up truck and immediately won over consumers looking for a reliable hauler. The Wasp ticked all the right boxes in offering versatility in terms of engines, transmissions and flatbed configurations as well as the ability to haul whatever it was asked of it. Riding on the global success of its passenger car sibling, the Wasp blazed a trail of its own as a formidable utilitarian vehicle for nearly a decade.


Faster and Better
In the early 70s, consumers wanted better and more improved pick-up trucks. To meet the increasing demand, Isuzu went back to the drawing board to produce a vehicle that would continue to drive its fortunes in the market. The result of this was the Isuzu Faster, which made its debut in 1972. Offering an improved compact design and body style as well as interior refinements compared to the outgoing Wasp, the Faster carved a reputation for itself as an-all round light utility vehicle. Isuzu would go on to produce three generations of the model, making it one of the brand’s most successful trucks.

The 80s Boom
The 1980s is largely considered as the decade that defined the world and by large it also helped redefine the pick-up. With demand increasing for utilitarian vehicles, Isuzu produced not one but two reputable models within the decade. 1981 saw the Isuzu Pup arrive on the scene carrying with it the attributes of being a sturdy and tough as nails pick-up, which was extremely light on maintenance. The Rodeo rode in grand style in the late 80s and emerged as one of the first pick-ups that brought in a broader appeal amongst consumers. The Rodeo nameplate spanned 15 years and consisted of light compact pick-ups as well as SUVs. Identifying a growing appeal for trucks, Isuzu developed a new pick-up to drive its way into the new millennium.


Dawn of the D-Max
The movement that began with the Rodeo paved the way for the creation of the D-Max in 2002. The mid-sized pick-up was remarkably sleeker than its predecessors and offered more in-car refinements and creature comforts. The result of this saw the D-Max capturing a significant market segment for itself with new buyers looking for a reliable and safe vehicle with ample space. It was a highly-efficient flatbed truck that had car-like attributes and handling as well as agility, and drivers were immediately enticed by the prospect.


Not content to rest on its laurels, Isuzu turned on the style factor for its D-Max and in 2012 launched subsequent generations, which boasted head turning looks along with improved levels of power, comfort and safety.  The new and improved D-Max rocked a sleek and muscular body and boasted a design that was a direct result of testing in various wind tunnels around the world, including the Japan Railway Research Institute, where bullet trains are tested. The result of this allowed the D-Max to further improve its already-renowned fuel efficiency.


Eager to elevate the pick-up experience for drivers, Isuzu rewrote the book on interior design for pick-ups by extending the cabin space and kitting it with upscale materials. Dynamic enhancements with additions such as a sportier instrument panel and a formidable sound system with roof mounted Exciter speakers providing 6.1 surround sound. Most importantly, the D-Max marked an importation evolution point for Isuzu with pick-ups with a number of cutting-edge safety features such as the Isuzu Gravity Response Intelligent Platform (i-GRIP) along with traction control system (TCS) and electronic stability control (ESC) for improved handling and stability.


Needless to say, upon its debut, the D-Max immediately won over fans even more so with limited edition models such as the Artic and Diablo further enhancing its appeal to its ever-increasing audience and fan base. For over 40 years, the Isuzu pick-up has transcended time and continents to become one of the world’s most reputable and trusted vehicles. To date, over six million people rely on the strength, reliability and economy these trucks provide and with the evolution of the pick-up continuing, the world waits with bated breath to see what Isuzu will bring in the truck of tomorrow.

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