New MU-X will be equipped with new safety systems as well as the latest infotainment. Picture: SUPPLIED
New MU-X will be equipped with new safety systems as well as the latest infotainment. Picture: SUPPLIED

Isuzu Motors SA has confirmed that the all-new MU-X, an SUV based on the Isuzu D-Max bakkie, will be launched here later in 2021.

It is the second generation of the seven-seater that was introduced locally in 2018 to take on the Ford Everest and Toyota Fortuner.

The multi-utility crossover (MU-X) rides on the D-Max’s rugged body-on-frame design, but instead of the bakkie’s rear leaf springs it has coil springs and five-link rear suspension to smooth out the ride.

The new MU-X has undergone a restyle along with a more modern and upmarket interior, and has also grown in size.

The new version is a game-changer that will offer class-leading driver assistance technology, new powertrains, and a luxurious interior designed for maximum comfort for seven occupants, says Dominic Rimmer, senior vice-president technical operations at Isuzu Motors SA.

Imported from Thailand, the MU-X will be equipped with a suite of passive and active safety systems, as well as the latest infotainment systems with Android Auto and Apple car play.

The external redesign is matched by a more premium-looking interior with soft surfaces.

Rimmer says the vehicle is being tested to ensure it is suitably prepared for local conditions.

Isuzu has not disclosed technical details but the MU-X is likely to get a new 3.0l turbo diesel four-cylinder engine with outputs improved from the existing 130kW and 380Nm to 140kW and 450Nm.

Additional information and pricing will be made available closer to the launch date.

The current MU-X sells in two guises: a rear-wheel drive priced R695,600 and an all-wheel drive for R770,400.

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