When Top Gear planned a drive to the North Pole, it called Arctic Trucks. The Iceland-based company specialises in building trucks and SUVs capable of extreme off-roading, on ice, in temperatures well below freezing.
Arctic Trucks usually builds custom one-offs, but is now collaborating with Isuzu to build an extreme series-production truck for the UK. And it looks pretty awesome.
The Isuzu D-MAX Arctic Trucks AT35 comes with a host of running gear upgrades. The most obvious of which are those enormous, 35-inch tires, wrapped around 17x10-inch alloy wheels. The tires are Nokian Rotiiva ATs, developed specifically for extreme off-roading, yet still usable on the road.
Fox Performance Series dampers can soak up anything and lift the suspension a little. The tires add more height, up to 5-inches more than a standard D-MAX. Consequently, approach, departure, and break-over angles are dramatically improved, too.
Huge fender flares cover the tires, while chrome trim, LED rear lights, a load bed liner and Arctic Trucks-branded tow hook covers are added. Double Cab and Extended Cab bodies are available, the latter with rear-hinged rear doors.
Other equipment includes climate control, leather upholstery and a six-speaker stereo. Power comes from a 2.5-liter turbo diesel making 163 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The D-MAX's payload is rated at 2,200 pounds, with a towing capacity of 7,700 lbs, in both cases the maximum allowed in the UK.
The D-MAX is, incidentally, the best-selling truck in Iceland, and c has proven to be an effective rally car.
Prices for the D-MAX Arctic Trucks AT35 start at £30,999 ($40,848).
Gallery: Isuzu D-MAX Arctic Trucks AT35
ISUZU D-MAX ARCTIC TRUCKS AT35: THE MOST EXTREME D-MAX EVER SOLD
- Isuzu and Arctic Trucks combine to create a pick-up engineered to excel in the most challenging environments
- Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 retains the durable D-Max chassis, engine and transmissions, and its highly competitive payload and towing capacities
- The AT35’s exclusive 4x4 features come from Arctic Trucks’ 25 years’ of experience re-engineering pick-up vehicles for sub-zero off-road conditions
- Newcomer is the first Arctic Trucks pick-up available for UK customers to order direct from dealers
- On sale across the UK from July 2016, priced from £30,999
The all-new Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 is a pick-up truck engineered to excel in the most arduous conditions, and is the result of close technical collaboration between two respected off-road and pick-up specialists. Each AT35 is based upon the strong and durable D-Max pick-up vehicle, which is extensively enhanced by Arctic Trucks, a company with a 25 year history in Iceland and Scandinavia as a developer of 4x4 vehicles able to take on the most gruelling terrains and conditions.
Whether in the wilds of the British countryside or on building sites in the city, the AT35 is the most robust and capable pick-up that Isuzu UK has ever created. The original 2.5-litre D-Max engine is retained, whilst a number of significant chassis changes have been carried out by Arctic Trucks.
Arctic Trucks bring experience of creating vehicles for all conditions, from severe off-road to the sub-zero, an area in which Isuzu has its own proven success as its D-Max is the best-selling pick-up in the undulating and snow-covered Scandinavian country. In Iceland, Arctic Trucks has enhanced the D-Max for rescue and highland utility work. This experience has heavily influenced the creation of the AT35 now on sale in the UK.
The AT35 retains the impressive one-tonne payload and 3.5-tonne towing (braked) capacities that have helped make the Isuzu D-Max one of the most popular pick-ups for those seeking an exceptional workhorse with low running costs. It will be the first Arctic Trucks pick-up in the UK that can be ordered directly from a vehicle manufacturer’s authorised dealer network. Available in either double-cab or extended-cab configurations, the AT35 is priced from £30,999 for the extended-cab and from £33,499 for the double-cab configuration.
Enhanced running gear
The AT35 introduces several key hardware enhancements, ensuring extraordinary off-road capability unprecedented in a pick-up on sale in the UK. Within the Isuzu D-Max model range, suspension is re-engineered exclusively for the AT35 with Fox Performance Series dampers, which helps deliver increased mobility over even the most rutted tracks and brutal boulders.
Special all-terrain Nokian Rotiiva AT tyres endow the AT35 with improved all-round grip in the most slippery conditions. These huge 35-inch tyres are specifically engineered for off-road use and are fitted to 17” x 10” alloy wheels, considerably larger than those on the standard D-Max. The vehicle accommodates the larger diameter tyres and wheels within dramatically-widened wheel-arches, giving the AT35 a securely planted and powerful look.
The specification of the tyres follows Arctic Trucks’ assertion that any off-road journey can be completed without the assistance of a winch or other rescue materials. Deflation and inflation of tyres – helped by the AT35’s on-board inflation kit – should be part of the adventure. The truck’s 35-inch wheels significantly broaden the contact patch and, in certain frozen weather conditions, the tyres are so bulbous they can even allow the car to float on light snow slush.
The combined effect of Arctic Trucks’ specialised suspension and larger tyres is a ride height 125mm higher than that of the equivalent standard Isuzu D-Max. With the increased ground clearance comes greater approach, departure and break-over angles. The AT35 sits 55mm higher than a standard double-cab D-Max, making for six degrees’ extra approach angle gain, and an added 10 degrees ramp angle flexibility. Furthermore, drivers and passengers benefit from improved all-round visibility, a great advantage for identifying the safest route to an ultimate destination, whether that’s across ice fields in Norway or icy moors of North Yorkshire.
Two body configurations
The AT35 is available in double-cab and extended-cab configurations. The extended-cab body was designed from the ground up as an ‘open-cab’ pick-up. Isuzu’s engineers developed a second-row, rear-hinged door, also known as the side-access panel (SAP) on each side of the vehicle. To ensure maximum strength and safety in the event of a collision, the engineers incorporated a one-piece B-pillar into the leading edge of the side access panels.
The result is uninterrupted access to the side of the cabin, ideal when loading large items behind the front seats. The side access panels can be opened from both inside and outside the vehicle. The rear seat cushions fold down from the back panel, creating additional seating, with fold-out thigh supports offering occupants even greater levels of comfort.
Comprehensive standard equipment
The AT35 can haul more than a tonne of on-board cargo and up to 3.5 tonnes in a braked trailer (where the terrain allows) – just as its D-Max stablemates can – as well as traverse more extreme topography than ever before. Meanwhile, passengers remain as well catered for as ever in the refined and well-appointed premium interior.
A six-speaker audio package with an ‘Exciter’ speaker in the roof lining, plus iPod/USB/Bluetooth connectivity, provides high-quality sound. Heated and folding door mirrors (including side indicator repeaters) are standard, as is a leather steering wheel with audio and cruise controls.
The double-cab model also includes full leather upholstery for an even more luxurious interior, as well as automatic climate control air-conditioning. This is controlled by a large, circular Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) selector located on the cabin’s centre console, which allows occupants to control temperature and fan settings with a single dial. The system automatically maintains the set temperature for optimal passenger comfort.
Exterior standard features include projector headlamps, body-coloured front bumper, chrome trio of door handles, grille and rear bumper, LED rear lights and a rear load liner. The double-cab model also adds roof bars and rear parking sensors for further increased practicality. Custom receiver hitches fitted front and rear are given the Arctic Trucks treatment with style-led covers that hide the points when not in use.
Buyers have the opportunity to choose from a range of optional accessories to further enhance the interior, the practical functionality and the visual impact of the AT35.
Styling upgrades include an Arctic Trucks Truxedo that provides added security for cargo in the load bed, as well as the Arctic Trucks Sports Bar for improved styling.
Off-road extras include a 27-LED square work light that provides widespread illumination under the darkest skies, skid plates for enhanced under-body protection, and an ARB tyre inflator with inline gauge help the most adventurous continue on their way.
Customers opting for the double cab AT35 can upgrade their infotainment system with the Pioneer AVIC-F860BT audio set-up, DVD and European navigational system with 6.1-inch touchscreen, reversing camera and Parrot Bluetooth kit for wireless calls and music streaming.
Strong chassis, powerful engine, manual and auto transmissions
The AT35 is based on the tough and durable Isuzu D-Max chassis. It is made of high tensile strength steel with cross-member braces to ensure exceptional torsional rigidity and large cross-sectional dimensions for a strong and stable structure. Additional cross braces aid torsional rigidity and also spread the weight of payloads evenly, enhancing the vehicle’s laden handling balance, both on- and off-road.
Under the bonnet of the D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 is the highly-efficient 2.5-litre twin-turbo diesel engine that delivers 163 PS and 400 Nm torque for all models in the D-Max line-up.
Isuzu offers the largest range of automatic pick-up models on the market and buyers of the double-cab AT35 can also specify auto transmission. The five-speed automatic features sequential manual shift control so that drivers can take direct control of gear selection for a more engaging experience – or allow the transmission to operate fully automatically to suit their mood and the terrain.
A shift-on-the-fly two- /four- / low-ratio four-wheel drive selector dial is located on the centre console. The system allows drivers to switch between two-wheel drive and high-ratio four-wheel drive at speeds up to 60 mph (100 km/h). Low-ratio four-wheel-drive can be engaged while stationary with the transmission in neutral, and, combined with other Arctic Trucks enhancements, means the AT35 can crawl up and over almost anything.
Low running costs
Despite being the most capable pick-up ever to be launched onto the UK market, buyers and operators will benefit from the same ultra-low running costs that all Isuzu D-Max owners enjoy. This is thanks to a competitive 42E insurance rating, low-cost finance packages and a comprehensive five-year / 125,000 mile warranty package. In addition, costs are kept low by 12,000-mile or 24-month service intervals, three years recovery and assistance cover, a three-year paint warranty, and a six-year anti-corrosion warranty.
|Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 Extended-cab (six-speed manual)||£30,999|
|Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 Double-cab (six-speed manual)||£33,499|
|Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 Double-cab (five-speed auto)||£34,499|
Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 specification
Standard equipment is as follows:
|Fender Flares, front & rear||17”x10” wheels|
|Extended Profile AT Side Steps||Fox dampers, front & rear|
|315/70 R17 Nokian Rotiiva AT tyres||Integrated fuel filler cap|
|Daytime running lights||Chrome front grille and rear bumper|
|LED rear lights||Roof bars (double-cab only)|
|Body-colour front bumper||Rear parking distance sensor (double-cab only)|
|Projector headlamps||Receiver Hitch|
|Folding heated chrome door mirrors with side-indicator repeaters|
Optional exterior extras – exterior styling:
Arctic Trucks sports bar (black or silver)
Arctic Trucks Truxedo Double-cab/Extended-cab
4.5-inch Vision X LED cannon
6.7-inch Vision X LED 9 diode lamp (black or chrome)
6.7-inch Vision X LED 18 diode lamp (black or chrome)
Optional exterior extras – off-road:
27 LED square work light with Arctic Trucks logo
Skid plate under radiator/engine
Skid plate under engine/gearbox
ARB inflator with gauge
Pump up emergency inflation kit
Paint finishes available:
Splash White, Titanium Silver Met, Mineral Grey Met, Tundra Green Mica, Venetian Red Mica, Nautilus Blue Mica, Cosmic Black Mica
Safety and security
|ABS + ESC + TCS
Front, side and curtain airbags
Insurance approved immobiliser
Three-point rear seatbelts
|Door-open warning light
Height-adjustable front seatbelts
Remote central locking
Locking wheel nuts
|Driver and passenger reading lights||Height-adjustable driver’s seat|
|Heated front seats||Height adjustable steering wheel|
|Leather steering wheel with audio and cruise control function|
|Rear heating ducts||Automatic climate control (double-cab only)|
|Front electric windows||Rear electric windows|
|Height-adjustable front headrests||Courtesy light delay function|
|Aluminium Scuff Plates||Leather upholstery (double-cab only)|
|Electrically Adjustable Driver’s Seat (double-cab only)|
|Heated Front Seats (double-cab only)|
In car entertainment system:
RDS radio/single CD with iPod-USB-Bluetooth
Six speakers with roof-mounted Exciter speaker
Optionalextras (double-cab only):
Pioneer AVIC-F860BT fully integrated audio system
DVD and navigation system with 6.1-inch touch screen
European map coverage and traffic info
Parrot Bluetooth wireless calls and music streaming (limited availability)
Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 technical specification
Body and chassis
Four-door, five-seater double-cab or four-seater extended-cab pick-up, with all-steel body. Longitudinally-mounted diesel engine driving rear (or front and rear) wheels via ‘on demand’ part-time four-wheel-drive system and a five-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission.
Engine 2.5-litre / 163 PS (120 kW) diesel
Type DOHC, in-line four
Capacity 2.5-litres, 2,499 cc
Bore and stroke 95.4 x 87.4 mm
Compression ratio 17:1
Max power 163 PS @ 3,600 rpm
Max torque 400 Nm @ 1,400-2,000 rpm
Valves 16 (four-per-cylinder)
Fuel system CRDi, common-rail, high-pressure, direct-injection two-stage turbo
Construction Cast iron cylinder block and aluminium head
Emissions class Euro Stage5
Switchable rear-wheel-drive / all-wheel-drive, selectable electronically
Type Hydraulic power-assisted rack and pinion
Turning circle 12.2 metres
Wheels and tyres
Standard 17x10 alloy wheels and 315/70 R17 Nokian Rotiiva AT tyres
Transmission gear ratios
4x4 double-cab 5-speed auto
1 – 3.52; 2 – 2.042; 3 – 1.400; 4 – 1.000; 5 – 0.716; Reverse – 3.224
Final Drive – 3.727
4x4 double-cab/extended-cab 6-speed manual
1- 5.232; 2 – 2.644; 3 – 1.606; 4 – 1.219; 5 – 1.000; 6 – 0.728; Reverse – 4.525;
Final Drive – 3.071
|Overall length 5,295||Overall width* 2,000|
|Overall height 1,930**||Wheelbase 3,095|
|Front overhang 905||Rear overhang 1,295|
|Ground clearance 290|
|Approach angle 36.0 deg||Departure angle 23.0 deg|
|Ramp angle 32.0 deg|
*excluding door mirrors, **excluding roof rails
Capacities and weights
Load bay (LWH)
Double-cab: 1,485 x 1,530 x 465 mm
Extended-cab: 1,795 x 1,530 x 465 mm
|Double-cab: 2,105 kg (manual) 2,110 kg (auto)
3,500 kg (braked trailer) 750 kg (unbraked)
Double-cab: 1,055 kg (manual) 1,050kg (auto)