The Isuzu 1.9L DDi BluePower engine has bagged the Diesel Engine Of The Year for the second time running at Carlist.my’s Car Of The Year (COTY) 2020 awards. Having made its debut in the 2019 Isuzu D-Max, this tiny yet super-efficient engine remains the most technologically advanced diesel powertrain in our market…. and for good reason!
Going big with a smaller package
The new 1.9-litre Ddi Bluepower engine is the smallest Isuzu engine on sale in our market and features in the award-winning Isuzu D-Max pickup truck. Dubbed the “RZ4E”, the new power plant replaces the older 2.5-litre VGT (4JK1) turbodiesel.
Despite its smaller size, the new mill offers even better fuel economy (a longstanding trademark of Isuzu engines), bulletproof reliability, lighter weight, and lower emissions, in addition to more power and refinement.
Innovation of this magnitude is rarely found nor seen in the pickup truck segment – which is typically, driven more by purely economic engineering parameters such as cost of ownership, service life, maintenance, and durability rather than the newest technology and equipment.
However, the numbers do not lie: the RZ4E engine delivers a 10 percent increase in power, delivering 110kW (150PS) at 3,600rpm and a 9 percent increase in torque, producing 350Nm (35.7kg/m) between 1,800rpm and 2,600rpm compared to the 2.5-litre engine it replaces.
This was not easily achieved – a new generation powertrain
Downsizing an engine’s capacity suffocates an engine’s ability to produce torque, something a truck – with its load-hauling and towing duties – surely needs; therefore Isuzu had to get smart with the engine.
The RZ4E gains a massive 37 percent reduction in mechanical losses by reducing internal friction. Coupled with an intelligent Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system and an eco-oil filter, the engine has been able to improve fuel efficiency by approximately 19 percent (tested in Thailand) with lower carbon emissions. The reduction of internal friction also means that parts will last longer.
Alongside this, the commonrail-injection system has also been improved. The new design provides better atomization of fuel allowing for more precise injection volume - which in turn improves fuel economy and reduces the typical clatter noise and vibration present in other diesel engines. This makes the most out of every drop of fuel.
Another significant area of improvement has been in the construction of the engine itself. The new RZ4E is 56kg lighter than the older 2.5-litre engine. This not only helps with fuel economy, and payload in the Isuzu D-Max but gives it a nimbler front end for better handling.
To fully capitalise on the punchy new engine – Isuzu fitted a brand new 6-speed transmission – both in manual and automatic versions depending on variant. The new gearboxes offer closer ratios for more spirited acceleration, particularly in the mid-speed range for better overtaking and acceleration. The two top ratios are overdrives giving the new Isuzu D-Max a far more relaxed speed range for cruising on the highway.
But, how do we know it works…
A manufacturer’s claim is just a claim until it’s proven in the real world. To this effect, Isuzu’s long-standing participation in the Borneo Safari Expedition has proven the perfect testbed for all its products for over a decade.
The new D-Max is no different – completing its maiden voyage in the 2019 Borneo Safari edition. The new powertrain proved itself up to the job to handle the extreme demands of muddy, hilly, rutty, and slippery terrains of Borneo.
The new Isuzu D-Max – aptly named the Blue Monster – had barely clocked 200km on its odometer before it was positioned at the starting point. The ‘Blue Monster’ was virtually as it left the showroom, save for a few additions to make it more suited to the terrain and obstacles, including a body lift kit to fit the extreme mud terrain tyres, long-travel shock absorbers, a snorkel, winch, and heavy-duty guards to protect the vehicle underbody from hard impacts.
After the extreme 8-day long adventure, it emerged a force to be reckoned with amidst one of the toughest terrains on the planet.
A proven package
For these reasons, the Isuzu 1.9L Ddi BluePower remains the most technologically advanced, and therefore a two-time Carlist.my COTY award-winning powertrain. A feat rarely achieved.
To experience the Isuzu BluePower, get behind the wheel of the new Isuzu D-Max. An extensive range of 11 variants is on offer to cater to virtually any pickup truck buyer.
There’s no time like the present to cash in on some exclusive Chinese New Years promos for the Isuzu D-Max!