Axiom XST Drives the ``Sport Utility Truck'' Into the Future
New Isuzu Concept Vehicle Combines the Award-winning Isuzu Axiom SUV
with Pickup Features Creating a Hybrid for Active Lifestyles
What do you get when you cross the award-winning Isuzu Axiom SUV with the enhanced cargo-carrying flexibility of an open-air pickup bed? A dynamic new concept vehicle dubbed the Axiom XST, which will be unveiled Jan. 7, 2002, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
As a showcase of Isuzu technology, the XST combines bold styling, advanced engineering and "switchgate" versatility into a next generation sport utility truck (SUT).
The Axiom XST demonstrates how an SUT can effectively bridge the gap between an SUV and pickup combining a spacious, five-passenger cabin with an open bed to accommodate bulky, wet or dirty cargo. If additional cargo space is needed, the driver can lift the rear window and fold the switchgate down to create an extended bed. The XST also offers an integrated flip-fold bed extender that can further expand the bed length. Custom designed multi-functional roof/cargo racks allow for additional carrying capacity. The XST is the perfect companion for weekend warriors seeking a multi-functional and off-road capable vehicle that offers passenger-car ride quality and interior comforts.
Designing a Masterpiece
Sketches of the Axiom XST concept vehicle began at the design department of Isuzu Motors America (ISZA) in Cerritos, Calif. Italdesign California (IDC), a subsidiary of Italy's famed Italdesign Giugiaro, then digitized the sketches and milled a scale "foam" model. Once the design was finalized, the IDC team began fabricating the XST using a production Axiom.
In addition to the switchgate, the Axiom XST wears new body panels from the C-pillars rearward. The exterior is dressed with custom-designed chip-resistant bodyside cladding, an integrated front brush guard with front skid plate, high intensity discharge (HID) fog lights and an aircraft-style fuel filler door. To accentuate its dynamic appearance, the designers specified a tantalizing Copper Orange color for the Axiom XST, employing Nippon Paint's mirror-chip process for added brilliance and depth. The interior also sports Copper Orange accents applied to the seats and door panels for an integrated, youthful appearance. Lower body surfaces are covered with Dark Gray paint blended with rubber and mirror chips for a distinctive look.
The Power to Go Farther
Whether it's transporting scuba divers to the beach or toting kayaks to a remote river, the Axiom XST is ready for action. Residing behind the aggressive grille is an Isuzu 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 featuring an efficient high-pressure common-rail fuel injection system and a ceramic particulate filter for reduced emissions. Designed to operate on cleaner-burning, low-sulfur diesel fuel, the Axiom XST provides a quiet ride with refinement befitting a passenger car. Mated to the engine is an equally sophisticated, electronically controlled four-speed automatic overdrive transmission.
Axiom XST is fitted with the production Axiom's Intelligent Suspension Control(TM) (ISC) for superior handling and TORQUE-ON-DEMAND(R) (TOD) for all-weather traction. ISC uses a dedicated computer to monitor sensors throughout the vehicle and adjust each shock absorber to reduce the unwanted body motion that can result from hard braking, cornering and acceleration. Electronically controlled TOD employs proprietary software to "predict" and minimize wheel slippage for uninterrupted traction on varied terrain.
The Axiom XST transfers its power to the pavement via a set of Yokohama AVS S/T 265/60VR-18 tires, mounted on custom-designed 18-inch six-spoke performance alloy wheels, providing the concept vehicle with sporty handling and good looks.
The Inside Story
One of the biggest attractions of the Axiom XST's interior is the innovative functionality. Not only is there plenty of space for five passengers to ride in comfort, but the front bucket seats, three-passenger rear bench and floor covering are trimmed with durable synthetic materials that repel moisture. The XST's ability to transport cargo is limited only by the imagination. Items like backpacks and soft luggage can be protected from the elements inside the cabin, while lowering the switchgate and bed extender allow the Axiom XST to easily transport long objects like surfboards or kayaks.
The Axiom XST can also locate destinations thanks to its voice-activated Eclipse Commander NAV/DVD navigation/audio system by Fujitsu Ten. GPS satellites pinpoint the vehicle's location, while a voice recognition system responds to the driver's commands. Travel directions, including turn alerts, are transmitted through the audio system's nine speakers. Written directions and visual cues are also displayed on a dash-mounted seven-inch LCD screen. The system also includes a six-disc CD changer with the ability to play both audio CDs and video DVDs. A second LCD screen mounted on the center floor console enables rear-seat passengers to watch movies or play video games.
Idea Behind the Concept
As the SUV specialist, Isuzu Motors America has established a track record for pushing the envelope design. The Axiom XST is the company's latest demonstration of its expertise. The Axiom XST is described as "extroverted, expressive and individualistic - just like the intended target audience for the concept." Although the XST is not currently scheduled for production, the Axiom itself entered the showroom a scant 18 months after receiving acclaim from critics and consumers alike upon its auto show debut as the ZXS concept vehicle.
American Isuzu Motors Inc. is the U.S. distributor of Isuzu sport utility vehicles and diesel engines. For more information call (800) 662-2464 or access www.isuzu.com.
TORQUE-ON-DEMAND(R) (TOD) is a registered trademark of Borg-Warner Automotive, Inc.