Isuzu has announced what it is claiming is the first ever two-pedal 4×4 light truck on the Australian market with the launch of its NPS 75/45-155 4×4 AMT.

It’s the market leader’s shot across the bows of its rivals from Hino and Fuso in an increasing battle for growing 4×4 truck sales.

Isuzu first launched its NPS in the 1980s and since then the 4×4 trucks have established a solid reputation for negotiating tough terrain and tight-access situations and the inclusion of a two pedal AMT NPS which the company says is a custom-engineered workhorse designed to further the range’s legacy.

IAL chief engineer, product strategy, Simon Humphries, says the AMT NPS had been designed to provide operators with ‘take-all-comers reliability and easy manoeuvrability’.

“Because the AMT NPS is the only two-pedal 4×4 light truck available on the market today, we invested the time and resources into taking a literal ground-up approach to developing a superior product for all operators looking for a 4×4 light truck that was easier than ever to drive,” Mr Humphries said.

The application-specific engineering in the AMT NPS begins at its Bridgestone L330 225/80R17.5 tyres offering increased off-road grip and an attractive steer axle load rating of 3,100 kg.

The NPS 4×4 workhorse’s driveline uses an automated manual transmission calibrated to make off-road operation easier.

“At every stage in its development, we’ve considered how the AMT NPS can most effectively cater to more operators looking to get behind the wheel of a no-nonsense 4×4 light truck,” Humphries said.

“We’ve also included cruise control as standard in the AMT NPS and the 7,500 kg GVM vehicle can be derated to 4,500 kg and driven on a car licence – at every step of the design and construction process we’ve strived to develop an easy-to-drive, reliable heavy duty go-anywhere 4×4 light truck.”

Simon Humphries said the truck’s engineering was tailored to best address the needs of drivers and organisations.

“The approach we’ve taken to the AMT NPS has been straightforward: build it on reliable technology that helps an operator do their job more effectively,” he said.

“IAL identified a lack of automated manual transmission options in the 4×4 light truck market, and the company believes the AMT NPS will be of great appeal to operators looking for a truck that will allow multiple drivers – even those less familiar with trucks – to hop behind the wheel.”

“In addition to its ease of use, the AMT NPS also has payload advantages over some of the major competition in the light 4×4 truck category.”

“We developed this truck knowing it will serve fire brigades across the country, and therefore it was of paramount importance that it’s payload was optimised for the task at hand.”

IAL Director of sales and marketing, Andrew Harbison says Isuzu’s engineers were aware of the sterling legacy during the development of the AMT NPS.

“Over the years, NPS trucks have served invaluable roles in emergency services fleets, especially in Australian fire brigades. These are operators who need the utmost confidence in the reliability, safety and access of their vehicles,” Mr Harbison said.

“With the AMT NPS, we’ve developed a product that will provide these benefits in a vehicle that more volunteers can get behind the wheel of – a considerable benefit when volunteer numbers are forever in mind for rural fire fighting brigades.”