You can read about how well a car performs in magazines and on automotive websites, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
Top Gear Philippines arrived at the venue of the very first leg of the Isuzu of D-Max 4x4 Drive Series held recently in San Fernando, Pampanga, and the event was a scorcher. But the D-Max was right at home. The makeshift off-road track consisted of a 40-degree hill climb while in first gear and idling (to demonstrate torque); a 40-degree descent with no braking; a lateral climb; giant "elephant holes"; a 45-degree cambered slope (to showcase the pickup truck's low center of gravity); a roundabout cone; and a roller slope. Check out the photos below. This track was no joke.
Participants were taught the basics of 4x4 off-road driving, and then they had to put the theory to the test on the challenging track. Surprisingly, even first-time off-road drivers were let loose with the D-Max, but that was the point. The event was designed to show what the truck can do, even with an amateur behind the wheel.
The first climb was very steep, so it took a while for some drivers to believe that the pickup could climb while idling. The amazement when they managed to do so was priceless. It was pretty cool that no throttle input was necessary. Some drivers also found the lateral climb quite challenging, but speed was needed so that the pickup wouldn't get stuck. It was also exciting to watch the D-Max traverse the elephant tracks. A normal 4x2 pickup would have gotten stuck in those giant holes for sure. The roundabout cone, meanwhile, sounded pretty tame, but to see it was to believe it. The D-Max was almost on its side while encircling a massive cone. It really felt like we were going to slide off, but the truck kept its poise all throughout.
It was a very hot day, and the adrenaline that the track generated got us pumped up. We are now looking forward to how the crowds will receive the D-Max at the other event venues of this series. It is definitely not a bad way to spend the afternoon.
"Out of the seven variants, we have three 4x4 models, and we want to showcase their capabilities," said Isuzu Philippines' Joseph Bautista. The series of drives aims to educate the market on the techniques required to maximize the advantages afforded by four-wheel-drive vehicles.
To showcase the capabilities of the D-Max 4x4 to the motoring public, Isuzu Philippines will be staging the "Isuzu D-Max 4x4 Drive Series" in four more locations, where you can get behind the wheel and traverse very challenging off-road tracks. Dedicated tracks will be constructed in each of these venues. Each city is a hub for off-road activity, so the D-Max will be in its natural habitat. Check out the schedule, and do drop by for some off-road action. The folks from Isuzu will be happy to accommodate you.
|Cebu||May 9-11||Ouano Avenue corner W.O. Seno Street, Mantuyong, Mandaue|
|Bacolod||May 23-25||Rizal Street corner Simplicio Palanca Avenue, Pope John Paul Memorial Tower|
|Cagayan De Oro||June 6-8||Pueblo Business Park, Pacific Street, Cagayan De Oro City|
|Davao||June 20-22||Dakudao Estate, Kilometer 6, JP Laurel Avenue, Lanang, Davao City|
Photos by Paulo Rafael Subido