Isuzu has announced that it will field a D-Max pickup truck in the 2013 edition of the grueling Dakar Rally.
The race-going D-Max was designed to compete in the T2 Cross Country Series Production Vehicles class so Isuzu is only allowed to make minor modifications to the truck. It is fitted with a stock steel body but a welded roll cage and thick aluminum skid plates protect the vehicle and its occupants.
Isuzu did not release any picture of the truck's interior but it claims that the the pilot and the co-pilot are treated to Recaro bucket seats and assisted by a digital instrument cluster.
The D-Max is powered by a modified 3.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engine that makes 242 horsepower and 434 lb-ft. of torque. Linked to a five-speed sequential gearbox developed by Hollinger, the oil-burner propels the D-Max from zero to 62 mph in seven seconds when driving on dirt and enables it to reach a top speed of nearly 120 mph.
16-inch alloy wheels mounted on high-profile tires help the truck get over rough terrain while upgraded Kangaroo Paw brakes on all four corners keep the extra power in check.
The D-Max will make its racing debut on January 5th, 2013, in Lima, Peru.