The D-Max GO2 is a special build project that has been customised to show just how easily a D-Max can be converted into an extreme off-roader.
As a basis, Isuzu chose a used manual 1.9-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel in Utah specification, which is the only engine option available in the UK. It delivers 120kW and 360Nm of torque, which is actually a lot more than the 100kW and 320Nm we get from the local 2.5-litre engine.
The front features all of the standard specification that you expect on a Utah with projector headlights and LED daytime running lights. You can still just about see the body coloured front bumper but this has been extensively modified to fit the ARB Sahara bar. This heavy-duty front bumper will prevent damage to the vehicle and help push through branches and undergrowth when it’s off-road. Plus, it provides a solid platform to mount the Britpart Pulling Power Winch. If you are serious about off-roading then a winch is an essential piece of kit. They’re indispensable when getting yourself and others out of tricky situations and this one is particularly capable with a powerful rated line pull of over 4 tonnes.
Underneath, Isuzu have fitted a full underguard kit to protect the engine and transmission. The fuel tank on a D-Max already has protection as standard but this underguard kit also includes a rear differential guard. The Sahara bar covers over where the front fog lights would normally be on a Utah. Fog lights aren’t really beneficial for off roading so as a replacement Isuzu have added a roof mounted Lazer Light bar that will definitely give a clear view of the track ahead.
Regardless of the conditions, a Safari snorkel will ensure that a constant source of cool, clean and dry air is available to the engine. The snorkel relocates the air intake point from a standard position under the bonnet and moves it to a higher location which protects the engine from dust and water ingestion that can be experienced in an extreme environment. It also increases the vehicle’s wading depth.
The standard 18-inch wheels have been upgraded as well with smaller 16-inch wheels and 33-inch General Grabber X3 Mud Terrain tyres. The new wheels offer fantastic off-road capability and are enhanced further with a Pedders braking system. At the front, there are heavy duty brakes with vented discs and part ceramic pads which reduces the stopping distance and increases the longevity. There’s a slightly different proposition at the rear. The standard rear drum brake has been replaced with a Pedders drum and disc brake combination. This retains the advantage of having a drum handbrake, which is best for off-road environments, but upgrades the vehicle braking to vented disc brakes.
At the same time, a Pedders TrakRyder eXtreme suspension has been added; consisting of two front adjustable coilovers and two rear leaf springs combined with adjustable shock absorbers. A Pedders TrakRyder front upper wishbone has been installed for greater front suspension articulation and a Pedders rear anti-roll bar has been fitted to help control body roll. Plus, the truck has been raised for additional ground clearance – another distinct advantage for off roading.
The suspension on its own gives great performance off road but a lockable rear differential has also been incorporated for increased off-road assistance. It locks both rear wheels together so they both turn at the same rate and this increased traction will definitely help get the D-Max GO2 out of any sticky situations.
There’s another heavy-duty bumper at the rear, this time with a rear step tow bar. The rear parking sensors had to be disconnected to fit this but the reversing camera, which is positioned in the tailgate handle, has been retained. It’s actually a perfect position for this truck as it gives a clear view behind and is raised high enough to stay clean…in most situations!
The tailgate opens gently thanks to the spring-loaded hinges on the Pro-Lift tailgate assist. This doesn’t just stop the tailgate from slamming down but also makes it very light to lift back up again. A fully lockable and retractable Mountain Top roller cover has been fitted to the load bed. This has multiple positions and can be operated with a pull strap. Utah’s are fitted with a load liner as standard and the type fitted to GO2 is an under-rail liner to accommodate the Mountain Top roller cover. Finally, there’s an aluminium bed drawer system with lockable storage compartments which is manufactured from the highest quality material, making it lightweight but still durable and strong.
There’s keyless entry to access the D-Max GO2 and then a push button start system. The Utah comes with leather upholstery and electrically adjustable driver’s seat so heavy-duty seat covers have been fitted, front and rear, to help preserve the interior from mud and dirt. Rubber trays have also been added to protect the floor and it comes with a leather steering wheel which is easy to clean.
All of this has been done to build an extreme off-roader but you still want to be comfortable which is why the Utah was chosen as a base vehicle. It comes with automatic air conditioning, a 7-inch multifunction colour touchscreen, satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB radio, eight speakers and front and rear USB ports so it’s going to be a relaxed drive through those green lanes.