Isuzu has launched an updated 2016 version of its highly popular and top selling F Series medium duty range with a reveal and briefing to the transport media in Melbourne.
While there was no driving at the launch, the model is now available through IAL’s dealer network and we have been promised test drives when the all new trucks have bodies fitted and are ready for the road in coming weeks.
Isuzu claims the revised line up represents the most wide-ranging upgrade of its F Series in almost ten years as the Japanese brand continues its local market domination, which is approaching three decades at the top of the Aussie truck market.
Cosmetically the new F Series gets a new grille design, badging and naming as well as updated seat trim and steering wheel design.
However it’s beneath the surface where the F Series gets the biggest changes with two very different driveline technologies now available for 4×2 and 4×4 models.
A new four-cylinder diesel moves up into the FSeries with Isuzu’s new small displacement, high torque 4HK1 turbo diesel that joins the new six-cylinder Isuzu 6HK1 engine featuring Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC) for lower maintenance.
In addition to the revised engines Isuzu has given its much commented on AMT transmission the addition of a torque converter to deliver more starting torque and smoother take offs.
IAL’s COO, Phil Taylor says that the new Isuzu F Series represents change on a level hasn’t been seen in the medium-duty for quite some time.
“Be it waste and refuse, cold-chain logistics, dry freight, pick-up and delivery, emergency services or something out of the ordinary – the new Isuzu F Series range covers even more applications than the previous line-up.
“In this new F Series range, customers have access to a wider range of quality capital equipment and industry-leading aftersales innovation at a very competitive price.”
Isuzu first introduced a four cylinder to the F Series range in 2007, with the FRR 500 models, however the new 4HK1 engine sees the four-cylinder option extended up the GVM range.
Isuzu says the 4HK1 is a completely redesigned engine, with only the bore and stroke remaining the same as its predecessor. It is being offered with either 154kW/726Nm or 177kW/765Nm version of the 5.2 litre, four-cylinder, two-stage turbo diesel.
Isuzu claims they represent state-of- art diesel technology, which stretches across a swathe of the F Series range, including 11 brand new models.
The 177kW models include the FRR with11 tonnes GVM and FSR at either 12 tonnes or 14 tonnes GVM. Meanwhile, the 154kW variants include the FRR and FRD 4×2 models and the FSS 4×4 with GVMs spanning 10.7 tonnes to 11 tonnes.
Isuzu has given the 4HK1 a ‘clever’ two-stage turbo with both the low-pressure and high-pressure elements operating throughout the rev range for smoother and continuous power from take-off.
It has reduced the size of the turbo giving it quicker response during low RPM and faster torque supply while emissions have been reduced as a result of high pressure-charging of the turbo which increases the effectiveness of the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) delivering lower nitrogen oxides (NOx) output.
The 4HK1 has also had other improvements including a changed intake for better low RPM torque, a new piston shape, increased injection pressure, optimised injectors and improved EGR valve control, a larger intercooler and a revised engine block.
The company has introduced idle-stop technology as standard on 4×2 models with the 4HK1 engine, except for variants with power take-off and says it plays a significant role in reducing fuel consumption.
Reduced fuel consumption was a key consideration in the development of this engine and IAL says it is confident these savings will be well received by customers.
The new 4HK1 does comply with Japan’s stringent new Post New Long Term (PNLT) emissions standard, which is similar to Euro VI. Both PNLT and Euro VI are expected to be acceptable alternatives when ADR 80/04 is eventually finalised.
One of the factors Isuzu has employed to meet emission standards is a new external injector for Its diesel particulate diffuser (DPD) system which works to remove the particulate matter from the exhaust gas eliminating oil dilution by commencing the regeneration process outside the engine block.
The latest generation Isuzu automated manual transmission has had a full torque converter added to it replacing the
original fluid coupling. A torque converter significantly increases start-ability and drivability, replicating the take-off characteristics of a full automatic.
Isuzu says the torque converter provides a torque multiplication factor of 1.45:1, when launching the vehicle from rest.
The new torque converter AMTs are spread across the 10.7-tonne to 14-tonne GVM variants with the FRR and FRD 10.7 tonne models as well as the 11-tonne, 12-tonne and 14-tonne 4×2 GVM trucks receiving it where available.
The Isuzu’s revised six-cylinder 6HK1 engine uses Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC) and is available with 191 kW and 761 Nm of torque. Isuzu claims it is the only medium-duty engine on the Australian market with neither a diesel particulate filter nor SCR. The company says it is a technology well suited to vocational applications requiring high idle time, high PTO use or frequent stop-start duties.
Isuzu engineers in Japan have achieved this by optimising combustion, which they say generates fewer emissions at the manifold meaning it requires a simpler cleanup operation in the exhaust system.
They have modified the combustion chamber and compression ratio to improve efficiency and reduce PM emissions while they have increased fuel injection pressure by more than 10 per cent to give greater fuel atomisation and combustion efficiency.
The new 6HK1 powers the FRR, FRD, FSR, FSD, FTR and FTS models with the Isuzu 6-speed manual transmission or an Allison LCT2500 six-speed automatic transmission.
The new 6HK1 engine is also available in two new models to the line-up, the FVR and FVD with either the ZF manual transmission or an Allison MD 3000 six-speed automatic.
The 2016 F Series range represents more choice for medium-duty truck customers, with additional models, wheelbases and model variants included in the line-up to tailor the already eminently capable range to a wider pool of customers and applications.
There are other minor changes throughout the new F Series range which we will outline when we get to have a drive of the new trucks but it is fair to say that the evolution of Australia’s most popular and successful medium duty truck continues and will help to keep Isuzu ahead of its rivals at Hino for a while to come at least.