Industry Insights

ISUZU HISTORY: 1997 TO 1999

During this period, Isuzu set an Australian sales record of 5,726 trucks—an impressive figure that comprised 3,550 N Series models and 2,176 F Series models.

Isuzu’s history of selling trucks in Australia has withstood many challenges along the journey but in 1998, IAL’s reputation for delivering quality vehicles was recognized for the incredible achievement of 10 consecutive years of Australian truck market leadership

The 1998 release of the NQR 450 was another success story.

The vehicle came complete with a high-torque 4HE-T Isuzu engine and was released to bridge the gap between the N and the F Series.

Some stand out features of the NQR included a higher GVM, more gears and better power and torque than the SBR from the 1970s and 1980s.

The NQR 450 Turbo

The vehicle’s specifications revealed a truck with 6.6-tonne capacity rear axle, 300 mm ring gear, 17.5-inch wheels and Michelin XZE1 tubeless tyres.

This, and the NQR 450’s long 4,175 mm wheelbase, equipped it for high level performance in urban, long-van body applications, as well as specific, relatively short-haul intra-state distribution operations requiring a tray or low-van body.

The NQR 450 had the same 8,500 kg GVM as the highly-regarded Isuzu SBR 422 of the mid-eighties but was a genuine 4.5 tonne payload capacity truck when bodied, with more power and torque.

In 1999, the launch of new engines had a positive impact on a couple of popular models, with the SiTEC 230 Turbo appearing in the FVR 950 and the SiTEC 200 in both the FRR 550 and the FSR 700.

From the vault: a 1998 edition of Truckpower magazine featuring the NQR 450

In this year

  • 1998 was the year Microsoft officially became the biggest company in the world.
  • In the overseas market, 1998 was the year General Motors and Isuzu collaborated to form the Ohio-based ‘DMAX’—a joint venture to produce diesel engines for trucks.
  • In 1999, an electronic ‘TICS’ Timing and Injection rate Control System-equipped engine was introduced on Isuzu’s SiTEC 230 Turbo engine—a new design to challenge conventional fuel-injection systems.

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