Leading the Way
Transport Today - by Geoff Paradise
WITH 21 YEARS CONTINUAL TRUCK MARKET LEADERSHIP, ISUZU
TRUCKS AUSTRALIA HASN'T TAKEN THEIR EYE OFF THE BALL FOR 2011. THE
REVISED MODEL LINE-UP INCLUDES MINOR CHANGES, SOME NEW ADDITIONS
AND VALUE ADDED BENEFITS.
Isuzu Trucks Australia - the Australian market leader for a
continuous 21 years, unveiled its range of Euro V (ADR 80/03) N and
F series trucks late in 2010 despite the new emission standard not
being mandatory until January 1, 2011.
But like many other manufacturers who could see no need to hold
back what are essentially minor technological changes and upgrades
to the existing emissions hardware Isuzu joined the march and
released their cleaner engines well before the set date.
Changes in emissions seem to be an almost bi-annual occurrence.
No sooner does the market become comfortable with one standard then
the focus centres on the incoming standard.
But those changes to emissions don't occur every two years as I
cynically suggest but the local truck industry has had to contend
with a flurry of changes in fairly quick time.
In the short space of eight years new trucks sold in Australia
have been required to decrease their emissions levels no fewer than
In 2003 ADR 80/00 (Euro 3) came into effect that saw particulate
matter (PM) drop from 0.15 to 0.1 grams per kilowatt hour (g/kWh)
and nitrogen oxides (NOx) fall from 7.0 g/kWh to 5.0 g/kWh.
In 2008 emissions were again lowered, this time to 0.02 PM and
3.5 NOx and now, three years later truck emissions standards have
been reduced even further to 2.0 NOx with PM remaining the same at
Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL) claim their new N and F Series
trucks are their cleanest ever and one of the most environmentally
friendly makes on the local market. Combined with their range of
compressed natural gas (CNG) models they can certainly lay claim to
being one of the most 'green' truck manufacturers.
Isuzu has introduced six new truck models to give buyers even
greater choice across the N and F Series.
Unlike in previous years where emissions standards have had a
sometimes dramatic effect of power and torque ratings on some
brands Isuzu's N Series, featuring their tried and proven SiTEC
Series III engines not only comply with Euro V emissions standards,
but power and torque figures remain unchanged from the previous
Not ones to let the grass grow under their feet Isuzu have added
two new tipper models (NLS 200, NLR 275) to the N Series range, and
in a very smart move the NLS 200 is being offered in crew cab
configuration for the first time.
While emissions standards have been a priority for all
manufacturers safety has been equally important.
For 2011 Isuzu now offer passenger airbags as standard on all
new N Series models which also now meet ECE-R29 crash standards.
These standards involve side, rear and top impact standards to
determine the structural integrity of the truck cabin in the event
of a head on, side on or roll-over collision.
Powering the new range are three Euro V-rated engines, beginning
with the 4-cylinder, 3.0 litre SiTEC SERIES III 150.
This engine is fitted to all NLR and NNR models and produces 110
kW @ 2,800 rpm and delivers torque of 375 Nm between 1,600 and
The second engine is the 4-cylinder, 5.2 litre SiTEC SERIES III
155 providing power of 114 kW @ 2,600 rpm and torque of 419 Nm
between 1,600 and 2,600 rpm for all NPR and NPS models.
Providing power for all NQR 450 models is the range-topping
4-cylinder SiTEC SERIES III 185.
This powerplant also has a capacity of 5.2 litres but has been
tuned to produce 139 kW @ 2,600 rpm and 510 Nm of torque between
1,600 and 2,600 rpm.
While the three new engines now offer stricter Euro V emissions
performance, this has not come at a cost to power and torque
figures, which remain unchanged from the previous range. Three new
model variants have been added to the N Series range, providing
operators with a diverse selection of trucks from which to
The NLS 200 is now available in a Medium Crew variant with a
3360mm wheelbase (up from 2740mm in single cab configuration), with
enough room for six occupants, including three seating positions in
Also new to the NLS 200 range is the NLS 200 Tipper, with a 4.5
tonne GVM and 2740mm wheelbase.
Another new model, the NLR 275 will be available fitted with a
factory-fitted tipper body, featuring a 5.5 tonne GVM and eight
Other notable specification changes include the adoption of
taper leaf front springs to replace multi leaf springs on the NPR
250/300/400 and NQR 450, providing 30 per cent greater capacity and
a smoother ride in all conditions.
The availability of Isuzu's hugely popular Automated Manual
Transmission (AMT) continues across the majority of models makes
the N Series particularly attractive for a wide variety of
Anti-lock braking systems (ABS with EBD), Anti-Skid Regulator
(ASR) or traction control and Hill Start Aid (HSA) are available on
all models (except NPS 4x4).
Adding to the high level of specification and technology is the
car-like comfort on offer.
The ergonomically-designed cabs are roomy and provide easy
access with 90 degree door opening and well positioned grab
handles, ideal for drivers making regular drop offs.
Making a driver's life easier on the road are cabin appointments
including an infotainment system, including Bluetooth phone
connection, optional NAVTEQ embedded Satellite Navigation and up to
three audio visual reversing cameras. These optional extras may be
purchased at additional cost.
The convenience of power windows and keyless entry is now
standard across the range including on the new NPS 300 Crew
The F Series has also received several upgrades in its transition
to its Euro V rating.
All engines feature variable geometry system (VGS)
turbochargers, air-to-air intercooling, high-pressure common rail
injection, advanced cooled EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) systems,
and a Diesel Particulate Diffuser (DPD) exhaust after-treatment, a
device that Isuzu first introduced to its trucks in 2007.
Isuzu's new engines use a Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC)
after-exhaust treatment to break down pollutants in the exhaust
stream to meet Euro V emission standards.
The engine range begins with the 4-cylinder, 5.2 litre SiTEC
SERIES III 205, fitted to FRR 500 models and developing 154 kW @
2,600 rpm and torque of 637 Nm @ 1,600 rpm.
The upgraded FX Series is powered by a SiTEC Series III 256 kW
Euro V engine, which makesan additional 13kW power over its
predecessor, putting paid to the misconception that tougher
emissions standards mean reduced performance.
Providing power for FRR 600, FSR and FTS models is the
6-cylinder 7.8 litre SiTEC SERIES III 235 producing 176 kW of power
@ 2,400 rpm and torque of 706 Nm @ 1,450 rpm.
The SiTEC SERIES III 255 develops 191 kW of power @ 2,400 rpm
and 761 Nm of torque @ 1,450 rpm and is used to power all FTR
models along with FRR and FSR high power models.
Powering FVD and FVR 9-speed models, in addition to the FVY,
FVZ, FVL and FVM variants, is the top of the range SiTEC SERIES III
295 producing 221 kW of power @ 2,400 rpm and torque of 980 Nm @
A gross vehicle mass (GVM) increase on the medium duty FTS 800
from 13,500kg to 13,900kg across all applications provides greater
productivity for operators, a feature that won't be lost on the
more astute truck owner.
Not content with the exhaustive range of F Series trucks they
already have Isuzu has also announced the introduction of three new
The new FSR X-Long offers a massive 6500mm wheelbase that's an
additional 940mm over its FSR Long counterpart and also new to the
range is the single cab FTR 900 Medium- Long and the FVR 1000
All F Series models (except 4x4) come standard with ABS brakes,
Hill Start Aid (HSA) and a spring park brake operating on the rear
wheels. To complement these brake system features, Anti-Skid
Regulator (ASR) is standard on FRR and FSR models.
For added safety and ease of use, HSA maintains brake pressure
until the clutch is engaged, minimising vehicle roll-back during
hill starts, particularly under loaded conditions.
Isuzu introduced an automated manual transmission (AMT) to the F
Series in 2007, offering drivers the option of selecting a
transmission which minimises driver fatigue while extending clutch
Replacing the traditional clutch pedal and employing a wet
clutch and fluid coupling, the AMT can operate in automatic mode or
manually by selecting the gears via the +/- gear slot.
Other standard safety features include ECE-R29
regulation-compliant cabins with pillar hinge, frame and door-beam
reinforcement, along with a closed section side sill step and front
In line with the F Series' reputation for driver comfort and cab
ergonomics, Isuzu continues to offer two cab widths: 2,120 mm for
FRR, FSR & FSS models and 2,320 mm for FTR, FTS & FV
models, while the FTR and FV models also receive an ADR42-
compliant sleeper mattress.
The Giga range, Isuzu's cabover heavy truck also benefits from
Australian testing which has resulted in revised, reduced fuel
consumption courtesy of new Engine Control Module (ECM) fuel
calibration, an RPM reduction at cruising speed, new engine fuel
mapping in the Giga's 455 and 510 horsepower ratings, and modified
MJX12 and 16 AMT shift strategies.
According to Isuzu's Product Planning and Engineering Support
Manager, Colin White, the recently launched Isuzu Euro V range
builds on the strong platform offered by the earlier model
"The new range delivers impressive environmental performance,
coupled with a series of safety and practical upgrades," Mr White
Isuzu's increasingly-popular CNG model range is expected to gain
further traction in the competitive alternative fuels market as
emissions legislation continues to tighten.
"Isuzu's CNG range has set the benchmark in 'green'
transportation in Australia, positioning it as a viable alternative
to conventional diesel powered trucks during a time when all
businesses are considering ways of reducing their carbon
footprint," Mr White said.
"In fact, the CNG range is so efficient that it easily meets the
particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) engine exhaust
levels required to comply with proposed Euro VI standards," he
said. That standard is due in about five years time.