Australia's self-proclaimed "longest-running and most famous precision driving team" has just unveiled a pair of off-road monsters, together named the Concept X, that look ready to take on just about anything Mother Nature has to offer. And from gigantic crocs to boxing kangaroos and bats the size of hawks, Mother Nature doesn't fool around Down Under.
Isuzu Team D-Max clearly isn't fooling around with their double-platform concept, either. In both pickup truck and SUV form, enormous lifts, knobby tires, and plenty of body cladding separate the two from stock Isuzu products even when spotted from a distance. But the changes aren't all cosmetic, with plenty of mods under the hood to match the pair's wild style.
The project apparently began with a simple thought, as Team D-Max lead driver Jack Monkhouse told Autocar New Zealand, "It was the tires that got us started, following a throw-away comment made at a four-wheel drive show. We saw some gigantic tires on the Toyo stand and EMG director and owner of Team D-Max Wayne Boatwright joked about putting a set on his company car. It certainly got a bit out of control but once we’d started, we were determined to make them special."
The Concept X in SUV form is based roughly on the Isuzu D-Max, a seven-seater SUV sold in Australia, while the pickup truck is a modified Isuzu MU-X. From the factory, both use the same 3.0-liter diesel engine and suspension components. While the engine and stock six-speed automatic transmission have not received changes, the rest has gone by the wayside.
The vehicles' standard leaf spring suspension was ditched in favor of a custom 5-link coil spring setup. Those enormous tires—38-inchers by way of Toyo—complement a seven inch lift and remote reservoir shock absorbers. All in all, the Concept X's boast over 14 inches of ground clearance, as well as impressive approach and departure angles measuring up to 49.7 and 38.5 degrees, respectively.
Further upgrades include custom body components (fenders and hood, as well as cladding), a pair of 10,000 pound platinum winches front and rear, alloy bull and sports bars, and brakes featuring six-piston calipers and floating rotors up front, with four-piston calipers squeezing floating rotors at the rear.
The only difference between the duo is a slightly lower departure angle for the pickup truck. Despite the builds' attractiveness and deserved media attention, at this point Isuzu has not discussed plans to bring the concepts to the general market.