Ladies and gentlemen, grab your binoculars and get ready to spot a rare species on the roads – it's the new D-MAX Arctic AT35! This isn't your average run-of-the-mill bakkie; it's a double cab with an attitude that says, "I'm not just here to drive; I'm here to conquer!"
Picture this: a collaboration between ISUZU and Arctic Trucks, the masters of crafting overlanding beasts that make mountains look like mere molehills. They've birthed the D-MAX Arctic AT35, and it's strutting its stuff right out of the ISUZU Motors South Africa plant in Struandale, Gqeberha. This isn't just a truck; it's a limited-edition, locally-assembled marvel that guarantees your membership in the exclusive off-road adventurers' club.
Kevin Fouche, the Product Planning and Programme Management guru at ISUZU Motors South Africa, has unleashed some wisdom. "Remember that first-gen D-MAX Arctic AT35 from 2019? Yeah, that one. Well, it was like the pioneer of the boldest, toughest, and most adventure-ready bakkies out there. Fast-forward to today, and we've birthed its successor – the new D-MAX Arctic AT35, now strutting its stuff as part of the seventh-gen D-MAX family. Boldness? Check. Muscles? Double check. Confidence to conquer the harshest terrains? Triple check!"
Fouche has another trick up his sleeve: "Behold the range-topper of the D-MAX line, the AT35! It's the ride that attracts those who seek the spotlight and the brave souls ready to take on the wildest landscapes."
But hey, let's not forget where this beast is bred – the Struandale plant, the one and only place globally where ISUZU and Arctic Trucks have crafted a masterplan to give birth to the D-MAX AT35. Starting with a regular D-MAX V-Cross 4x4, this creation transforms on the same production line but gets an exclusive Arctic Trucks makeover in a dedicated conversion zone. The craftsmen and tech whizzes work their magic to create the wider arches, roomier wheel wells, and of course, the vital 35-inch tires that make this monster a true off-road gladiator.
With its e-coating and paint job done, the D-MAX follows the standard assembly route, complete with a specially developed suspension kit that transforms it into the majestic AT35. They even slap on those bigger wheel arch moldings – the truck's way of saying, "Hey world, I'm ready to play in the dirt!" And don't worry, the AT35 isn't just an adventure-craving hulk; it's quality-checked to the max before heading to its forever home. Warranty, assistance, and service plans? Yep, it's got the whole shebang.
Now let's talk muscles – the AT35 is no weakling. Its beefy looks match its prowess, and if you confuse it with a regular bakkie, you might need new glasses. Those flared wheel arches, extra ride height, and wider track are enough to make you think twice before cutting it off in traffic. Plus, you can't miss the AT35 chrome badges, the wider steps for easy access, and those Arctic Trucks mudflaps. The pièce de résistance? Those 35-inch BF Goodrich all-terrain tires wrapped around the distinct 17x10-inch AT black alloy wheels. Got a flat? No worries, the spare wheel's got you covered – and there's even a ResQ Puncture Repair Kit for those surprise nail encounters.
But wait, there's more – the AT35 isn't just about looks. It's got suspension game too. A custom lift kit and Bilstein dampers give it that "I can handle anything" stance. With a ground clearance of 266 mm and angles that defy gravity, this truck doesn't just avoid obstacles; it scoffs at them. Steep approach angles? Check. Departure angles that'd make an acrobat jealous? Check. And don't forget that 4x4 system – you can choose between two-wheel drive for the boulevards and high/low-range four-wheel drive for your off-road escapades. Plus, it's got an electronic rear differential lock for those times when you need all the help you can get.
Powering this beast is ISUZU's 3.0-litre diesel heart, a gem you'll find in other D-MAX elites. With 140 kW of power and 450 Nm of torque, this engine isn't just a force of nature; it's a force to be reckoned with. It's paired with a six-speed automatic that's snappier than your morning caffeine fix.
Luxury? Check. Safety? Double check. The D-MAX Arctic AT35 takes the top-spec V-Cross model and adds a touch of exclusivity. Embroidered seats, swanky interior finishes, electric adjustments galore, a digital cluster that's smarter than your smartphone – it's all there. And for the tech-savvy, Android Auto, wireless Apple CarPlay, and wireless charging are part of the party.
Speaking of parties, the AT35 is no wallflower when it comes to safety. Cameras, sonar, radar – it's got more eyes than a hawk. Forward Collision Warning, Emergency Braking, Cruise Control that's more adaptive than your favorite road trip buddy – it's all on board. Even if you decide to moonwalk into another car, the Multi Collision Brake's got your back. Airbags, Blind Spot Monitors, the works – it's a safety extravaganza.
Now, the price for all this adventure and exclusivity? Hold on to your seats – R 1,120,620. But hey, remember, you're not just buying a truck; you're buying into a club of explorers who tackle the world head-on, and you'll be doing it with style, confidence, and a splash of Arctic attitude.