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Isuzu VehiCROSS

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Isuzu VehiCROSS
Also calledIsuzu Tako (concept car)
Isuzu Tiejingang (China)
AssemblyJapan: Fujisawa Plant, Fujisawa, Kanagawa
Body and chassis
ClassCompact SUV
Body style3-door SUV
LayoutLongitudinal front-engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
RelatedIsuzu Trooper
Transmission4-speed automatic
Wheelbase2,330 mm (91.8 in)
Length4,130 mm (162.6 in)
Width1,790 mm (70.5 in)
Height1,700 mm (66.9 in)
Curb weight1,794 kg (3,955 lb)
SuccessorIsuzu MU/Rodeo Sport

The Isuzu VehiCROSS (UGS250) is a compact SUV from Isuzu. Produced from 1997 through 2001 (Japanese market 1997–1999; US market 1999–2001), it shares many of its components with the Trooper, including both its 3.2 L and 3.5 L V6 engine that produces 215 bhp (160 kW; 218 PS) at 5400 rpm and 230 lb⋅ft (312 N⋅m) at 3000 rpm of torque. The vehicle also features the Torque on Demand (TOD) 4-wheel-drive system produced by BorgWarner. It is a small, sporty 2-door crossover vehicle with aggressive external styling, including short overhangs, an aggressive forward stance, titanium "teeth" in the grille, a black hood-insert, and black plastic cladding over the entire lower half of the vehicle. The US VehiCROSS came equipped with 16" polished wheels in 1999 and 18" chrome wheels during the remainder of production. The Japanese version came equipped with 16" alloys with chrome center caps.

The VehiCROSS combined a computer-controlled AWD system for on-road driving and a low-gear 4WD system for off-road driving. The Japanese version offered a 2WD non TOD or 4WD TOD option. The US-only constant 4WD TOD, with 12 independent sensors for detecting wheel spin and capable of redirecting power to the wheels with the most traction, gives the VehiCROSS a high level of traction on wet and icy roads. It also has a high level of performance for its height. While possessing on-road nimbleness, its body-on-frame truck construction, suspension and 4WD gearing make it very capable off-road.

Sales were intentionally limited, with only 5,958 vehicles being produced between 1997 and 2001; 1,805 were produced for the domestic Japanese market and the remaining 4,153 sold in the United States. It appears that Isuzu revisited a limited production approach they used in the mid-1960's with the dramatic 117 Coupe and the later Isuzu Piazza to produce an exclusive two door vehicle. Japanese sales were limited by the fact that the exterior width dimensions were not in compliance with Japanese Government dimension regulations, and the engine displacement obligated Japanese drivers for higher levels of annual road tax. The vehicle had a base price of $28,900.[1]

Manufacture and release

Isuzu VehiCROSS rear
Isuzu VehiCROSS rear

The VehiCROSS was originally unveiled as a concept vehicle at the 1993 Tokyo International Auto Show. Its ultimate Japanese production release in 1997 was notable in that the production vehicle arrived with very few design changes and in a very short time. This feat was accomplished through the use of inexpensive ceramic body-stamping dies and the reuse of readily-available Isuzu parts. The truck was intended to showcase Isuzu's off-road technology, and is one of the few vehicles to ship with monotube shocks with external heat-expansion chambers, a technology normally reserved for off-road motorcycle racing.

Motor Trend featured the VehiCROSS on its May 1999 cover, and included it in its "Top 10 Sport Utilities" for Most Unique Styling.

Four Wheeler featured the VehiCROSS as the "First Runner Up" for Four Wheeler of the Year in 2000 behind the Tahoe Z71; when pitted against: Chevrolet Tahoe Z71, GMC Yukon, Nissan Xterra, Ford Excursion and Mitsubishi Montero Sport. The VehiCROSS scored highest of all 6 Mechanically, for Trail Performance and Highway Performance.

Both a concept four-door version (VX-4) and a roadster (VX-O2) were shown at the 2000 Los Angeles International Auto Show, but neither reached production. Both of these concepts were donated to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles in late 2008. Both were later returned to Isuzu when the Petersen Museum renovated. Isuzu had to destroy the vehicles for legal reasons in 2017.

Design team

Led by Shiro Nakamura and Satomi Murayama, chief designer/manager at Isuzu's European office in Brussels, the design team was an international group: Simon Cox (assistant chief designer best known for designing the Lotus Elan's interior), Joji Yanaka, Andrew Hill and Nick Robinson. The task was to build a "lightweight but tough, fun but environmentally friendly" SUV.

  • Winner of the 1999 Russian Spirit of Time Award by the Russian Design Confederation (presented to Isuzu at the 1999 Russian International Motor Show).

In motorsport & awards

  • Stage 2 and 4 Class Winner, 1998 Paris–Granada–Dakar Rally
  • Class Winner 1999 Australian Safari Rally
  • Winner "Most Unique Styling" Motor Trend 1999 Top 10 Sport/Utes
  • Used by Austin Robot Technology as foundation for robotic VX in 2005-2007 DARPA Grand Challenge
  • Motor Trend reports it gets thumbs up for look-at-me-Gen-X Styling and outstanding seats[2]

Production details (US version only)

Exterior Interior 1999 2000 2001 Total
Astral Silver Metallic Black/Red 1021 n/a n/a 1021
Kaiser Silver Metallic Black/Red n/a 57 101 158
Kaiser Silver Metallic Black/Gray n/a 135 251 386
Victory White or Ironman Black/Red 420 96 86 602
Ebony Black Black/Red 564 51 87 702
Ebony Black Black/Gray n/a 138 226 364
Proton Yellow Black/Gray n/a 111 368 479
Dragon Green Mica Black/Gray n/a 125 105 230
Foxfire Red Mica Black/Gray n/a 90 120 210
Polar White Pearl[3] Black/Red n/a n/a 1 1
Totals 2005 803 1345 4153

Production details (Japanese version only)

Colour Colour No: Quantity
Blazed Peacock Mica 702 6
Brurujitan Mica 709 3
Liberty Blue Mica 717 4
Astral Silver 718 974
Arcadian Green Mica 719 4
Tryton Blue Mica 725 3
Steel Blue Mica 709 3
Raspberry Mica 745 5
Radian Red 756 19
Magenta Metallic 762 17
Sunburst Orange Mica 766 28
Brilliant Red Mica 808 10
Ebony Black 826 232
Pure White 831 26
Straight Violet Metallic 834 22
Damson Mica 848 3
Iron Grey Metallic 849 33
Empire Blue Mica 858 96
Forrest Green Mica 863 95
Lava Grey Metallic 867 7
Leadlock Mica 872 125
Cosmic Blue Mica 873 5
Cobalt Blue Mica 874 5
Unknown Mica 885 12
Golden Yellow Mica 892 63
Defect Turn 52
Total 1805


  1. ^ "Isuzu Vehicross First Drive".
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-27. Retrieved 2015-01-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^
This page was last edited on 15 November 2020, at 04:39
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