In August 2020, carsguide.com.au reported that an Isuzu D-Max Hybrid is under consideration. A year later, Isuzu is still evaluating when, how, and with which model to begin its electrification journey, at least in Australia, as per a report from drive.com.au.
The new report says that Isuzu is considering a hybrid powertrain for MU-X SUV. The MU-X sits on the same platform as the D-Max, so the new hybrid powertrain should be compatible with the pickup. Koichiro Yoshida, Sales and Marketing Director, Isuzu Ute Australia, said at a media conference that the company “has technology especially in the small truck for the electric vehicle and also some of the hybrids.”
Hiroyasu Sato, the Managing Director of Isuzu’s Australian subsidiary, said that the company is doing R&D of alternative powertrains. However, the existing, non-electrified engines will satisfy customers, Sato added.
When journalists asked Sato during an interaction last year if the company is working on an electrified engine for the Isuzu D-Max, he suggested that the company had already started the planning. He said that the company always has an eye on the market and tries to offer a product that complies with the emission standards and other regulations as well as the customer demand.
The Isuzu D-Max received a full model change in October 2019. The third-gen model is available with RZ4E 1.9-litre and 4JJ3 3.0-litre diesel engines. The third-gen Mazda BT-50 that broke cover in June 2020 is a mechanical cousin of the Mk3 Isuzu D-Max. So, the arrival of an Isuzu D-Max Hybrid could signal a Mazda BT-50 Hybrid, but the eco variants would come out during the mid- to long-term future.
Hybrid pickup trucks on the horizon
The Isuzu D-Max competes with the likes of Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux, Chevrolet Colorado, and Mitsubishi Triton. The Ford Ranger will reportedly gain a (plug-in) hybrid powertrain in the next generation, while the Triton hybrid is incoming with the next generation pickup. Reports say that the Toyota Hilux will get a hybrid powertrain in the next generation. At this point, it looks like from 2023, hybrid pickup trucks, including those powered by a diesel engine, would trend in the one-tonne pickup truck segment.
Featured Image Source: Isuzu