News & Media

Top Ten: Isuzu F Series Impresses On Media Drive

Geoff Middleton
December 27, 2016

Launched in February, the Isuzu F Series offers a wide range of engine and transmissions configurations to suit many medium-duty applications

Australia’s trucking journalists descended on Brisbane recently to get some first-hand experience of Isuzu’s new medium-duty F Series range and the new NLR 45-150 Servicepack.

The new F Series range was officially unveiled back in February this year to excellent reviews from customers and the press.

Core to the flexibility of Isuzu’s new truck range is the option of two very different driveline technologies available for the 4×2 and 4×4 models.

Customers can opt for the high-tech and ultra-efficient 5.2 litre, four cylinder, two-stage turbocharged and intercooled 4HK1 available in two power ratings, or the six-cylinder Isuzu 6HK1 with Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC) for low maintenance and dependability.

Models featured during the test program included a total of seven F Series trucks (refer table below) with a number of different bodies and all loaded to 80 per cent capacity.

Also making an appearance was Isuzu’s heavy-duty FYJ 2000 8×4 Auto MWB, and new NLR 45-150 Servicepack. We’ll be bringing you a full test on the Servicpack very soon.

The test fleet was put to work across a 150km route that included a range of different road terrains around Brisbane’s outer regional and metro areas.

The route covered a variety of driving conditions that are part and parcel of daily medium-duty trucking applications – urban and industrial areas, freeways and second-class country roads.

The day-long drive program commenced from Queensland’s largest Isuzu truck dealership, Brisbane Isuzu in Archerfield.

The drive route took us to the summit of Mount Coot-tha, and over to Ipswich for an Isuzu food truck lunch stop. It continued through to Goodna before winding its way back to Archerfield in Brisbane’s south.

Clear stand-outs for the media on the test drive were the introduction of the TC-AMT, and the 4HK1 engine – hailed as a significant development for the industry. The low maintenance advantage of the 6HK1 with DOC was also acknowledged as a key benefit of the range.

IAL Chief Operating Officer and Director Phil Taylor said Isuzu’s popular media drive programs continue to be an essential conduit in conveying features and benefits of Isuzu products to the public.

“Our customers look to the media for an honest industry appraisal of these new products, so for Isuzu it’s essential we get the experts behind the wheel and give them the opportunity to put forward a tried and tested review to the industry,” Mr Taylor said.

“Isuzu has held top position in the medium duty segment for many years now, and the move towards low-displacement, high output technology is designed to well and truly cement that domination.”

“We’re confident it will be a real game-changer.”

New additions

The Isuzu F Series now comes with two different driveline technologies available for 4×2 and 4×4 models.

The star of the show comes in the form of the new high torque, small displacement 4HK1 turbocharged and intercooled diesel engine, considered the cleanest medium-duty Japanese diesel engine available in Australia today.

Completing the package is Isuzu’s new torque converter equipped automated manual transmission (TC-AMT).

There are now two power variants to choose from in the low displacement, high torque 4HK1 four-cylinder turbocharged and intercooled diesel engine.

There’s also the new six-cylinder Isuzu 6HK1 engine features a Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC) for low maintenance and unparalleled dependability.

New 4HK1 engine

Phil Taylor said at the press conference that there is a world-wide trend toward low displacement-high output engines which has prompted Isuzu’s investment in the 4HK1.

“Statistics reveal that there is a colossal need for efficient light to medium trucks,” he said. “Interstate has been dwarfed by intrastate transport,” he added.

“This new engine has been completely redesigned, and with its low displacement and impressive power and torque rating, the 4HK1 is a first for the Australian truck market,” said Mr Taylor.

The 5.2 litre, four-cylinder, two-stage turbocharged and intercooled engine available in two power ratings:

>> A 154 kW (210 PS) variant, producing 726 Nm of torque

>> A 177 kW (240 PS) variant, generating 765 Nm of torque

They represent technology which stretches across a range of the F Series range, including 11 new models.

The 240 PS models include the FRR at 11 tonnes GVM, and the FSR at 12-tonne and 14-tonne GVM respectively.

Meanwhile, the 210 PS variants include the Isuzu FRR and FRD 4×2 models and the FSS 4×4 with GVMs spanning 10.7-tonne to 11-tonne.

Clever turbo and idle stop

A key update to the new 4HK1 engine is the introduction of a two-stage turbocharger.

Both the low-pressure and high-pressure elements of the turbo operate throughout the engine rev range, providing even and unbroken power from take-off.

Fuel economy gets further improvement too, as 4×2 models fitted with the new 4HK1 engine (except for PTO variants), now come with the addition of Isuzu’s idle-stop technology, known as the Idle Stop System (ISS).

This system rests the engine when the vehicle is stationary, at traffic lights or in heavy traffic conditions, reducing emissions, fuel consumption and ultimately cost.

Emissions control

The 4HK1 complies with Japan’s 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 (the next emissions standard for trucks) is finalised.

Isuzu’s latest diesel particulate diffuser (DPD) system has also been added, with a dedicated fuel injector in the manifold solely to take care of regenerations. The DPD works to remove particulate matter from exhaust gas emitted by the engine, while minimising fuel usage, giving it the highest green credentials in its range.


From now on the 4HK1 can be mated to the latest third generation Isuzu torque convertor automated manual transmission.

The torque converter will significantly increase start-off ability and driveability, and replicates the take-off characteristics of a full automatic.

Isuzu F Series models that benefit from the new torque converter AMT sit within the 10.7-tonne to 14-tonne GVM range.

The FRR and FRD 10.7 tonne models both receive the 210 PS new 4HK1 engine with improved DPD and the new torque converter AMT where available.

The 11-tonne, 12-tonne and 14-tonne 4×2 GVM trucks will benefit from the high torque 240 PS engine variant with Isuzu’s optional torque converter AMT.

Trucks on the drive included:

FSD 120-260 Auto LWB Tilt Tray

FRR 110-260 Auto LWB Van body

FVL 240-300 Auto LWB 14 Pallet Tautliner

FRR 107-210 AMT LWB 10 Pallet Tray

FRR 110-240 AMT MWB 8 Pallet Tautliner

FSR 120-240 AMT LWB 12 Pallet Tautliner

FTR 150-260 Auto Crew 12 Pallet Tray

FYJ 2000 Auto MWB Tilt tray

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