Isuzu Truck debuts 2011 N-Series featuring NPR Eco-Max

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At the NTEA Work Truck Show in St. Louis, Isuzu Commercial Truck of America on Tuesday, March 9, introduced its new 12,000-pound GVWR NPR Eco-Max low-cab-forward truck, offering up to 20 percent improved fuel economy and increased payload capacity compared to previous NPR models.

The new 2011 model year truck is powered by Isuzu’s next-generation 4JJ1-TC diesel engine, which has operated globally in Isuzu’s N-Series models for the last five years. The 4J engine family dates back to 1984 and is the highest-volume engine produced by Isuzu. This is the first time the engine will be utilized in the U.S. market.

The turbocharged 4-cylinder 3-liter engine, which delivers 150 hp and 282 lb.-ft. of torque, is compliant with 2010 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board emissions mandates. It offers a B10 engine life rating of 310,000 miles, which means 90 percent of the engines should reach this mileage before needing an overhaul. The engine is mated to an Aisin heavy-duty six-speed automatic transmission with double overdrive and lockup PTO function.

“The NPR Eco-Max is the result of Isuzu’s commitment to help our environment by significantly reducing emissions and fuel usage,” says Shaun Skinner, executive vice president and general manager of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America. “This truck is a product of our SEE design philosophy, which stands for Safety, Economy and Environment. This model has been specifically created to reduce the cost of ownership while meeting the world’s most stringent emissions requirements. We accomplished this without sacrificing performance, durability or operating costs. Due to its broad torque curve, power density and 6-speed transmission, the NPR Eco-Max has shown better hill-climbing ability than the model it replaces. It’s also up to 170 pounds lighter, so it offers increased payload capacity. We expect this unit to deliver enhanced productivity, minimum downtime and the lowest operating cost in its segment.”

The cab of the NPR Eco-Max is the same size as the previous NPR and offers 3-across seating. The cab tilts for easier servicing of the engine and transmission. Wheelbase options of 110, 134 and 151 inches accommodate bodies up to 16 feet in length.

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In addition to the NPR Eco-Max, Isuzu also introduced the 2011 model year NPR HD (14,500 lbs. GVWR), NQR (17,950 lbs. GVWR) and NRR (19,500 lbs. GVWR) models. These higher GVWR N-Series models will be powered by a heavily revised version of the 5.2L 4HK1-TC engine first introduced in the 2005 model year. For 2011, the 4HK features increased power output (from 205 to 210 hp with an automatic transmission, and from 175 to 190 hp with manual transmission) and up to 8 percent better fuel economy. Like the 4JJ1-TC engine powering the new NPR Eco-Max, this revised 4HK1 engine is both EPA 2010 and CARB HD-OBD emissions compliant.

“Isuzu’s 2011 N-Series will be the only low-cab-forward trucks available for sale this year that meet the EPA’s 2010 emissions requirement with not only one engine but two engines,” Skinner says. “Isuzu is proud to introduce a product that meets the world’s most stringent emissions standards while reducing our customer’s cost of ownership through significantly improved vehicle fuel economy”.

To help reduce operating costs further, Isuzu’s exclusive Data Recording Module can provide a Vehicle Health Report showing the condition of the engine, transmission, emissions system and brakes, plus fuel economy and driver operating habits. A new Multi-Information Display on the dashboard shows the driver real-time engine and truck operational performance data at a glance.

Isuzu’s 2011 model N-Series product line uses selective catalytic reduction and diesel exhaust fluid to achieve the 2010 EPA emissions standards. The trucks feature large panoramic windows that provide added visibility for driver safety, and the low-cab-forward design affords added maneuverability. For the 2011 model year, wheel cut angles have been increased to 50 degrees to provide a curb-to-curb turning circle diameter as little as 31.5 feet.

To extend durability, the cab has rust and corrosion protection provided by galvanized steel panels, electro-deposit paint primer and enamel paint topcoat. Unitary construction and strong reinforcements add to cab durability and safety.

Isuzu opened 2011 model year N-Series ordering on March 1. Isuzu’s N-diesel models are available from the factory in a variety of exterior cab colors: Arc White (standard), Wheatland Yellow, Woodland Green, Cardinal Red, Dark Blue and Ebony Black II.