The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Isuzu to Produce ZXS Concept Vehicle as the Axiom Sportwagon

20 April 2000

           Isuzu Extends SUV Range With Versatile New Sportwagon -
           Designed as a Driver's Machine With the Heart of an SUV

    NEW YORK, April 20 American Isuzu Motors Inc. (AIMI) today
announced plans to market the radically new, SUV segment stretching, Isuzu
Axiom Sportwagon.  The new hybrid SUV evolves from the ZXS concept vehicle
first seen at the Tokyo International Auto Show.  Production is slated to
begin in the spring of 2001 at Isuzu's facility in Lafayette, Indiana.
Anticipated production will be approximately 24,000 units per year, with the
model selling only in the U.S. market.

        "The Axiom Sportwagon was designed as a crossover vehicle," said Scott
Hyde, AIMI Executive Manager, Product Planning, SUV, "combining two uniquely
American vehicle types: the SUV and the station wagon."

    The new Axiom Sportwagon is to mirror the ZXS concept vehicle in
appearance and technical abilities and follows in the concept's intent to be
an elegant extension and refinement of the SUV category.  And as one would
expect of Isuzu, the SUV specialist, the Axiom Sportwagon is more SUV than
car, thus fully capable to operate proficiently in severe weather and in
challenging terrain.  Yet contrasted with typical SUV ride and handling, the
Axiom Sportwagon's sophisticated suspension is tuned to accentuate spirited
on-road handling and performance while yielding a supremely smooth and
comfortable ride.

    These performance goals are accomplished with a moderate reduction in ride
height, a sturdy chassis-frame supporting an independent double-wishbone,
torsion bar front suspension and a 5-link live axle with coil springs
suspension.  This advanced suspension is augmented with "Intelligent
Suspension Control(TM)" (ISC).  ISC incorporates a dedicated CPU that monitors
inputs for terrain and continuously adjusts shock valving to provide superior
ride and handling on the road and off.

    Axiom is the first Isuzu product to combine the ride and handling benefits
of ISC's computer-guided, real-time, shock-valving adjustment with the
traction and handling benefits of Isuzu's much heralded TORQUE-ON-DEMAND(R)
4WD system.  This system, co-patented with Borg-Warner Automotive, Inc., is
designed to provide the optimal traction by selecting the most suitable torque
distribution between the wheels automatically.  The resultant synergy of fully
automatic response to terrain gives the Axiom Sportwagon impressive handling
and tractive performance.

    Powering the Axiom Sportwagon is an Isuzu world-class, high performance
engine.  The 3.5-liter, dual-overhead cam 24-valve V6 engine is rated at
215 horsepower @ 5400 rpm and 230 @ 3000 rpm.  This engine features an
aluminum alloy cylinder block and heads, electronic sequential multi-point
fuel injection, direct ignition system, variable intake, drive-by-wire
electronic throttle, and super-fast 32-bit PCM, making it one of the more
advanced engines available in an SUV.  Of course Axiom's powertrain, like all
Isuzu SUVs is backed by a 10-year or 120,000 mile Powertrain Limited Warranty,
America's Longest Powertrain Warranty.

    Axiom Sportwagon's crisply sculpted styling signals the model's departure
from conventional SUV styling and performance.  Axiom features a sleek profile
with an active sweeping crown to the roofline.  Axiom's sophisticated European
design cues move one's expectations higher -- expectations that Axiom
satisfies wonderfully while never forgetting that its heritage is all SUV -- a
fact not lost on the observer of Axiom's sculpted fender flares framing its
large 17-inch aggressively styled aluminum alloy wheels sporting all-weather

    The interior design of the Axiom Sportwagon features ergonomically
designed controls with upscale amenities demanding drivers expect in a
performance vehicle yet with the room and luxury usually restricted to luxury
coupes.  The custom designed seats are available in optional fine leather, and
the rear split-seats feature a fold-down armrest.  In addition, Axiom
introduces Isuzu's first Multi-Information Display.  The optional
Multi-Information Display allows occupants to control the premium sound
system, automatic climate control and trip computer as well as keeping time
with an on-board clock calibrated to the US atomic clock; and to monitor
vehicle heading via a digital compass that supplements the alpha heading with
numeric heading in degrees.  The Axiom Sportwagon also features optional
factory installation of Homelink, a system that allows one to control one's
garage and home entry with automatic ease from the safety and security of the
Axiom's interior.

    The Axiom Sportwagon is the first Isuzu vehicle of the new century, a
century that dawns with challenges and promises for which the Isuzu Axiom is
designed to meet and fulfill.  Not only is it equipped with the latest
technology and manufactured from leading edge means to provide efficient and
versatile personal transportation it has arisen from the fundamental force
destined to shape the 21st Century -- the Web.  It is the first mass-produced
vehicle to bear a name generated from that vast interconnected pool of human
energy and creativity.  So it is entirely appropriate that this newest Isuzu
vehicle should be the first to have its own web site.  Please visit for the latest developments regarding the coming launch of the
newest Isuzu model: the Axiom Sportwagon.

    American Isuzu Motors Inc. is the U.S. distributor of Isuzu sport utility
vehicles, commercial vehicles and diesel engines.  For more information call
(800) 662-2464 or point your browser to on the worldwide web.

    -- Engine            V6 3.51 DOHC 24-valve gasoline
    -- Transmission      4-speed automatic gearbox
    -- Drive system      Electronically controlled torque splitting 4WD TOD
    -- Suspension        Front: Independent double-wishbone torsion
                                bar springs
                         Rear: 5-link coil spring suspension
                         Intelligent Suspension Control
    -- Brakes            4-wheel disc
    -- Optional extras   Driver and passenger seat SRS airbags, ABS
    -- Capacity          5 persons

    * TOD and TORQUE-ON-DEMAND are registered trademarks of Borg-Warner
Automotive, Inc.