Isuzu Philippines has completed the first leg of the 2013 edition of the Isuzu Challenge, with the D-Max 4x2 covering a distance of 1,467km on just a single tank of diesel fuel.
At the end of the first of the three-day run in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, the D-Max's odometer registered 456km, and the pickup had consumed just one-fourth of the fuel in its 76-liter tank. On the second day, however, after running 550km up the Sierra Madre mountain range through the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela, one-half of the fuel had been consumed, leaving just one-fourth of the tank for the D-Max to complete the trip--a tough task considering that it still had to go up and down through Nueva Viscaya and Nueva Ecija via the Dalton Pass.
Much to everyone's surprise, the D-Max still soldiered on, passing through SCTEX and NLEX despite having its low-fuel indicator light up in Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija. Upon reaching EDSA, everyone was sure the traffic on the national highway would take its toll on the pickup's fuel efficiency. However, the truck continued to run, prompting IPC officials to take it through SLEX.
As the D-Max's engine was still alive after it passed the Calamba exit, the decision was made to take it through the STAR Tollway. After 1,467km, as the truck was nearing the San Jose and Ibaan exit, the engine sputtered and died, bringing the challenge to a long yet fulfilling end, with a fuel mileage of 19.3km/L, just as IPC sales division chief Joseph Bautista had predicted at the start of the three-day run.
For the two remaining legs of the Isuzu Challenge scheduled in May and June, the vehicles to be used are the Crosswind XT and the NHR light-duty truck, respectively.
"This remarkable result once again fortifies the Isuzu D-Max's well-deserved reputation for fuel efficiency," said IPC president Ryoji Yamazaki. "That this pickup is truly a workhorse as well makes it an ideal choice for people who need the perfect vehicle for both business and leisure."