Continuing on with our NTEA coverage here in Indianapolis, Isuzu held their press conference yesterday in which they introduced the Reach Van (in cooperation with Utilimaster Corporation), and re-launched their V-8 powered Low Cab Forward Truck. One is very interesting, the other? Not so much….
This is a cooperative venture between Isuzu and Utilimaster, and is an interesting answer to the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van, with the hope of competing with other European vans that are set to be introduced in North America within the next couple of years. It is suppose to at least 35% more fuel efficient that your typical box truck today, providing true commercial truck capability, and provide a lower cost of ownership that the traditional step-van. The interior is up to 27 inches higher than a conventional Ford or GM van and 10 inches wider than a Sprinter van.
This van utilizes the Isuzu Eco-Max chassis, with a 3.0L turbodiesel that is rated at 150HP, and a six-speed automatic with two overdrive gears. This is the same chassis that has been available on a conventional cab forward truck with a specialized Supreme Aero Body that has produced significant fuel economy. The Reach has the advantages of having the driver walk into the cargo area without leaving the cab. Production begins this summer.
They also re-introduced the Gasoline version of the Low Cab Forward truck, and this is also a cooperative venture with Spartan Chassis, a maker of Motor-home, and Step Van chassis. The engine for this application will be the well proven 6.0L V-8 with a power output of over 300HP. The Transmission chosen is also sourced from GM, and is the 6L90 6 Speed automatic with a Double overdrive gear set.
This gives Isuzu a competitive price point for the Low Cab Forward market, and is probably the right choice for utilities, college and university campus, and other low mileage applications where a diesel premium doesn’t make a lot of sense. Production begins this April.