Technology / Motors
The New 6th Generation Isuzu KB - Bigger And Bolder With A New Stylish Presence
18 May 2013 at 19:27hrs | Views
- Contemporary styling with sleek aerodynamic body design
- Larger overall dimensions
- Improved occupant access
- Comfortable and spacious interior
The all new 6th Generation Isuzu KB has a bigger bolder look, with smooth and well-proportioned styling. The vehicle's wedge shaped profile imparts a muscular and sporty expression while at the same time providing a distinct aerodynamic advantage.
The new Isuzu KB is 260mm, more than 5%, longer than the previous model. It's also 60mm wider (up 3%) and 60mm taller (up 3,5%). This translates into an increase in interior space and load box size.
The exterior styling of the new Isuzu KB benefits from extensive computer analysis of the air-flow around the vehicle supported by full-scale wind tunnel testing to prove out the theory in practice. Some of this testing was done in the wind tunnel of the Japan Railway Institute, the facility normally used to test the famed "Bullet Train". The result is a vehicle with the lowest coefficient of drag (Cd) in its class with a full 5% improvement over the previous model.
A key area of aerodynamic focus was the airflow over the roof and load-box of the vehicle, a known critical area. On the new Isuzu KB this critical airflow has been smoothed to flow cleanly over the tailgate with reduced drag. This helps to improve fuel economy and performance while reducing noise levels in the cab.
An element of this improved aerodynamic performance is the placement of the 'A' pillar a full 100mm further forward and at an increased angle. This has the added benefit of providing for an improved driver and front passenger seating position.
Side steps with a non-slip upper surface are fitted as standard on the LX specification level (and are available as a dealer installed accessory on all other models) for easier entry and exit from the vehicle. These have a secondary function in that they assist in inhibiting stone damage to lower body paintwork when travelling on gravel roads or off-road.
A noticeable feature on all 4WD and High Ride models is the adoption of integrated steel wheel arch flares in place of the plastic overfenders used on the previous model. Also noticeable are the larger wheel openings that add to the overall bold appearance of the new Isuzu KB.
The design of the vehicle's roof, sides and door structure is completely new. A new flatter design for the sides of the vehicle without the door openings intruding into the roof line prevents an area of low pressure developing over the window glass for a tighter seal at highway speeds and reduced noise in the cab.
A strong design presence is carried through to the frontal view with its striking new interpretation of the well-known Isuzu KB logo and grille. On the high-end LX specification models a chrome grille and bonnet garnish are standard equipment with a body colour grille fitted to the LE specification level. Base specification Fleetside models have a black grille. The smooth flowing lines of the headlamp clusters provide a seamless transition from the front of the vehicle though to the side.
The styling and construction of the front facia and bumper serve to enhance the aesthetics of the vehicle but also have a less apparent functional role to play. These components are manufactured using impact absorbing materials that not only serve to absorb low speed collision energy but are also specifically designed to provide a level of protection in the event of a pedestrian impact.
In the first instance this area of the vehicle will absorb a significant amount of energy limiting the scale of injury to the pedestrian as a first line of defence. This design of the front end is also designed to lift the pedestrian over the top of the bonnet where a second level of protection is available rather than downwards and under the vehicle.
The intercooler on turbocharged models has been moved forward away from a high mounted position to remove any projections on the top of the bonnet that might cause harm in a pedestrian accident. The bonnet itself is designed to provide a cushioning effect and absorb energy. This is aided by the fact that the distance from the bonnet to the top of the engine has been increased to provide space for the bonnet to collapse into.
The windscreen wipers are now semi-concealed to further reduce the chance of injury in a pedestrian impact.
Projector style headlamps, are standard on all LX Single, Extended, and Double Cab models. The Fresnel blister on the projector headlamp protector reflects the light form the park lights at an angle of 80 degrees for improved visibility of the KB in low light for other road users.
Another functional improvement is the implementation of deeper rain-water channels in the 'A' pillars. These assist in effectively channelling water off the front windscreen and directing it over the roof. This inhibits the flow of water over the side glass of the vehicle for improved side vision in adverse weather conditions.
The rear of the new Isuzu KB is defined by bold new lamp clusters for bright and clear rear-end lighting. The light clusters flow through to the sides of the load box for side-on visibility. On high-end LX models the rear combination light clusters are LED units. These offer brighter illumination, especially beneficial in daylight conditions, and extended life.
The restyled bumper rounds off the rear view of the new KB. On the top specification LX variants this incorporates a wide, non-slip upper surface with chrome highlights. Park Distance Control is incorporated in the rear bumper on LX models and is offered as an option on LE specification models.
The all-new Isuzu KB Extended Cab models offer the functionality of increased interior load carrying ability √¢‚Ç¨‚Äú important when higher value but smaller loads need to be conveyed securely. Excellent access to the extended cab area behind the seats is by way of rearward opening Flex Doors that can be opened from either inside or outside the vehicle. The Flex doors are fitted with an interlock that prevents them from being opened unless the front door is opened first √¢‚Ç¨‚Äú an important security feature.
The new Isuzu KB Extended Cab has a strengthened 'B' pillar and features "3-bolt hinges for additional resilience in the event of a side impact. Interior space is increased over the previous model with the seat back to rear trim panel measurement increased from 425mm to 440mm.
Spacious interior with passenger car-like comfort and convenience
The interior of the new Isuzu KB has been developed around a balance between form and function with three main criteria of comfort, ease of use, and choice of use (flexibility).
A reduction in noise vibration and harshness levels (NVH) experienced in the cab makes the ride experienced in the new KB comparable to that of a passenger vehicle.
New levels of engine bay sound insulation work in combination with advanced engine, cab, and body mounts, a totally new suspension system, and the aero styling to ensure that the new Isuzu KB is one of the quietest vehicles in its class in terms of interior noise levels.
Interior space across the range of body styles has been increased with more room available under the dash and an increase of 10mm in shoulder room courtesy of the increase in overall width of the vehicle.
The Extended Cab provides excellent functionality with an increase in space derived from a wider and longer cabin space complimented by the functionality of the flex type doors.
Double Cab models offer more space for rear seat occupants. The wider and longer cab provides for an increase of 495mm between the rear door opening and the rear seat occupant's hip-point for easier entry and exit.
An increase in rear head room has been achieved through the increased height of the vehicle and a revised angle for the rear seat backrest adds further comfort, especially over long journeys. The space for rear seat passengers is 25mm longer than the previous model and is now amongst the largest and roomiest cabin spaces in its class.
Rear foot room is often a problem area on double cab vehicles. Isuzu has addressed this by incorporating a large diameter chamfer on the base of the front seat to provide more room, particularly when entering or exiting the vehicle. The front seat runners have also been positioned further apart to increase foot room under the front seat.
The styling of the doors on all three body styles has been optimised for size, shape, and opening angle to make getting in or out of the vehicle a breeze, especially for rear passengers on Double Cab models where ease of access is considered best in class.
Ease of use
All controls are positioned logically and intuitively and are easy to reach and operate.
The dashboard and centre console is sporty in appearance and functional in design. All switches and controls are logically positioned so they fall easily and naturally to hand for excellent ergonomics.
Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning controls are all large diameter rotary type controls placed within easy reach of the driver. Similarly all cabin vents are placed within easy reach but without compromise to their functionality that ensures fast heating or cooling of the cab interior. All vents offer selective opening or closing to cater for individual occupant control. All double cab models are equipped with rear ventilation ducts for customer comfort.
All LX models have automatic climate control as standard.
The push-button type Four Wheel Drive control of the previous model is replaced with a simple to use single Terrain Command Dial located centrally on the console between the driver and passenger seats on 4X4 models. On LX and LE specification models a driver activated differential lock is standard equipment, operated by an easily accessed push-button switch. This feature is offered as a production option on the remaining model line-up.
The steering wheel is a three spoke design with a soft grip covering and tilt adjustment. On high specification LX variants a leather covered steering wheel with satellite audio controls is standard.
Many of the interior features of the new Isuzu KB offer multiple options for how the occupants might choose to use them. Multiple storage compartments add convenient, safe, and secure stowage for smaller items.
As many as 10 different positions are provided for drinks storage in either cup or bottle as well as numerous receptacles for oddments of various sizes. These storage solutions feature in the upper centre console, lower console, under steering wheel area, door pockets and seat back pockets (Double Cabs). Double Cab models also have provision for drinks holders at the rear of the centre console.
On Double Cab models the rear seat has a 60/40 split. The seat can be folded up to allow loading directly on the floor of the vehicle, or folded down to provide a flat load surface. Additional storage compartments are provided in the floor area under the rear seats.
New longer and wider pick-up body
The pick-up body, as with every element of the exciting 6th generation Isuzu KB, has been optimised for space efficiency and loadability. As with the cab, full advantage has been taken of the larger footprint and larger overall dimension to increase the size of the load area.
On Single Cab models the internal length of the load body is increased by 35mm to 2305mm. The width is up by 40mm to 1570mm while the height is reduced by 10mm. The Extended Cab has the same internal length as the previous model at 1795mm but is 70mm wider at 1530mm. Load box height is 15mm less on this model with a depth of 465mm. While load box length has not increased, internal space has been substantially increased.
On the Double Cab variants the increase in load box size is more dramatic. Measured at floor level the load box on the new KB is 135mm longer (1550mm) and 105mm longer at the top (1485mm. Internal width is up by 70mm to 1530mm and as with Extended Cab, load box height is down by 15mm.
On all models the tailgate opening is now wider to facilitate easier loading. The design and construction of the new load box makes it stronger than ever. A change to the radius between the inner side wall and the load floor makes for easier loading and optimal usage of the available floor area. Tie down hooks are provided on the interior of the load box.
Source - General Motors Sub-Saharan Africa