All-New Chassis And Suspension For 6TH Generation Isuzu KB
- Clean sheet design optimised for load carrying, ride, and handling
- Longer and wider chassis
- Longer wheelbase – wider track
- All new ‘coil-over’ front suspension
- Class leading towing capability
When they started planning the 6th Generation Isuzu KB, Isuzu opted for a clean sheet design approach incorporating and maximising its vast experience accumulated with pick-up design over the last three decades.
The latest 6th Generation Isuzu KB incorporates a chassis that is optimised for load carrying, ride and handling, comfort, towing capacity – with best in class performance in this area – off-road performance and occupant safety.
The new Isuzu KB’s chassis is longer and wider than the previous generation’s and has a longer wheelbase, up by 45mm on the previous model. Track on both the 4X2 and 4X4 models has increased by 50mm. The new dimensions improve ride and handling, overall vehicle stability and comfort. There is a noticeable improvement in cornering performance, lane changing stability, and off-road performance and comfort over the previous model.
Despite its larger chassis and body, the 6th Generation Isuzu KB still has an excellent turning radius of 6 metres for the base models and 6,3 metres for Fleetside/LE/LX models.
The increased chassis dimensions have also allowed for an increase in cab dimensions with more in interior space available and thus a higher level of passenger comfort. Also up is the size of the load box on all models.
The chassis has added strength derived from an increase in chassis rail section from 89 X 138,9 mm to 90 X 173,6 mm. In addition cross member to chassis braces have been added at the second and fourth cross members for improved rigidity and safety. The chassis incorporates crumple zones at the front for impact absorption in the event of a front collision.
The independent front suspension has a double wishbone layout with a coil-spring over damper configuration on all models. This provides for passenger car like comfort levels combined with excellent road holding. On 4X4 and High Ride models longer coil springs help soak up rough road conditions for improved comfort and load protection.
The rear suspension on all models remains as a leaf spring layout but with a number of improvements incorporated. On the Base model the spring design is longer and flatter for an improved ride and handling characteristic. The leaf springs are still located under the rear axle which provides for a low cargo floor to ground measurement that is important on these workhorse type vehicles.
The high ride (including 4X4 models) feature an all-new design of leaf spring that is 1360mm long and configured to compliment the front suspension characteristic. Gas filled dampers are standard front and rear across the range.
On high ride models the leaf spring location has been moved to above the rear axle for improved ground clearance and off-road operation. Ground clearance for 3.0 LX models is now 220mm whilst that of the Fleetside and Base models are 225mm and 202mm respectively.
The 6th Generation Isuzu KB has been designed to achieve class leading towing capability. All new Isuzu KB 300 Double Cab LX models for instance boast an incredible class leading towing capacity (when using a trailer with service brakes) of 3,5 tons when fitted with the heavy duty tow bar – available as an accessory. On all models a 2,1 ton capacity tow bar is available as an accessory.
The Isuzu KB has established a legendary reputation for off-road performance in its 34 years in South Africa. With the new 6th generation model comes not just an all- round improvement in on-road comfort, stability and ride and handling, but also an improvement in off-road capability.
Contributing factors are the new wider and longer chassis design with increased wheelbase and track as well as a low centre of gravity. Whilst designing and developing the new KB chassis Isuzu engineers took advantage of the opportunity to place the engine further back and lower in the chassis to significantly lower the centre of mass of the vehicle. This trend of moving weight lower in the vehicle was carried through into the design of the cab and loadbox.
The new suspension geometry front and rear also makes a meaningful contribution to the total off-road package. An improved seating position places the driver more than ever in a commanding position to exert effective control over the vehicle in the most demanding of driving conditions.
All the high ride and 4X4 models have an approach angle of 30 degrees and a departure angle of 22,7 degrees with a rear step bumper. The break-over angle for these models is 22,4 degrees. These numbers apply to a vehicle fitted with 17 inch wheels and 255/65R17 tyres. The static transverse angle (side-on inclination when stationery) for the new KB is 49 degrees up one degree over the previous model.
On this 6th generation Isuzu KB the driver is able to select from a number of 4X4 driving modes using the Terrain Command Dial. The 2 wheel drive to 4 wheel drive high ratio change can be implemented on the fly at speeds of up to 100km/h. The vehicle, as with all 4X4 vehicles, must be stopped to change to the extreme condition 4L (low-range) mode. This selection is also initiated via the Terrain Command Dial.
All LE and LX models, as well as the 4X4 Fleetside models, have a driver activated differential lock as standard equipment, operated by an easily accessed push-button switch. This feature is offered as a production option on the remaining model line-up. The new Electronic Differential lock system allows engagement at vehicle speeds below 60km/h, and automatically disengages when the vehicle speed exceeds 80km/h.
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