The D-Max GO2 is a special build project that has been customised to show just how easily a D-Max can be converted into an extreme off-roader.  Isuzu have chosen a Utah manual in Splash White as the base truck but this is a used vehicle which has been converted post-registration.  It’s had some extensive work done and this has been built using Isuzu accessories and other aftermarket parts.

This special build is extreme in every sense of the word and has been designed to go on some gruelling off-road expeditions, which is why it’s been named GO2, because it can go to places other trucks can’t reach.

The front features all of the standard specification that you expect on a Utah with projector headlights and LED daytime running lights.  The ARB Sahara heavy duty front bumper bar will prevent damage to the vehicle and help push through branches and undergrowth when it’s off-road.  Plus, it provides a solid platform to mount the Britpart Pulling Power Winch.  

Underneath, Isuzu have fitted a full underguard kit to protect the engine and transmission.  The fuel tank on a D-Max already has protection as standard.

Regardless of the conditions, a Safari snorkel will ensure that a constant source of cool, clean and dry air is available to the engine which also increases the vehicle’s wading depth.

The original side steps have been replaced with heavy duty side steps that feature a chequer plate design.  

A Utah normally runs on 18” alloys but these have been upgraded as well with smaller 16” wheels and 33” General Grabber X3 Mud Terrain tyres.  At the front, there are heavy duty brakes with vented discs and part ceramic pads which reduces the stopping distance and increases the longevity.  There’s a slightly different proposition at the rear.  The standard rear drum brake has been replaced with a Pedders drum and disc brake combination. 

At the same time, a Pedders TrakRyder eXtreme suspension has been added; consisting of two front adjustable coilovers and two rear leaf springs combined with adjustable shock absorbers.  A Pedders TrakRyder front upper wishbone has been installed for greater front suspension articulation and a Pedders rear anti-roll bar has been fitted to help control body roll.  Plus, the truck has been raised for additional ground clearance – another distinct advantage for off roading.

There’s another heavy-duty bumper at the rear, this time with a rear step tow bar.  The rear parking sensors had to be disconnected to fit this but the Utah’s reversing camera, which is positioned in the tailgate handle, has been retained.  

The tailgate opens gently thanks to the spring-loaded hinges on the Pro-Lift tailgate assist.  This doesn’t just stop the tailgate from slamming down but also makes it light to lift back up again.  A fully lockable and retractable Mountain Top roller cover has been fitted to the load bed.  This has multiple positions and can be operated with a pull strap.  Finally, there’s an aluminium bed drawer system with lockable storage compartments which is manufactured from the highest quality material, making it lightweight but still durable and strong.

There’s keyless entry to access the D-Max GO2 and then a push button start system.  

The Utah comes with leather upholstery and electrically adjustable driver’s seat so heavy-duty seat covers have been fitted, front and rear, to help preserve the interior from mud and dirt.  Rubber trays have also been added to protect the floor and it comes with a leather steering wheel which is easy to clean.

All of this has been done to build an extreme off-roader but you still want to be comfortable which is why the Utah was chosen as a base vehicle.  It comes with automatic air conditioning, a 7″ multifunction colour touchscreen, satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay™ & Android Auto™, Bluetooth® connectivity, DAB radio, eight speakers and front and rear USB ports so it’s going to be a relaxed drive through those green lanes.

Continuing a successful 2020, the multi award-winning Isuzu D-Max has been recognised as the Best Workhorse Pick-Up 2020 by Trade Van Driver and, in fact, this is the 8th year in a row that the Isuzu D-Max has won this award.

Trade Van Driver is the only magazine which caters for the owner-driver and small fleet operator and as such its awards are different from others as they are judged not only by the expert panel of journalists at the magazine but also by a panel of readers who use light commercial vehicles as part of their businesses.