Unruffled by the lacklustre performance of its MU-7 SUV and the D-Max pick-up in the Indian market, Isuzu Motors India Private Limited is now said to be planning the launch of the MU-X by the end of this year.
The MU-7 SUV, launched in India in 2012 when the company started its India operations, didn't find many takers as compared to its rivals. But the vehicle helped the firm, a subsidiary of Isuzu Motors Limited, Japan, establish itself in the SUV market in the country.
The MU-7 has now been replaced by MU-X in the most markets where Isuzu has a presence. In terms of design, the MU-X is far modern than the MU-7. The face of the SUV features a twin-slat grill in chrome. It is flanked by projector headlamps. The grille and headlamp cluster form a V-shaped front facia to the MU-X, in line with the recently launched D-Max V-Cross pick-up. The side profile and rear profile, especially the wrap-around rear windshield, resemble the Chevrolet Trailblazer.
The MU-X will boast of 230mm ground clearance. It will feature automatic climate control, cruise control and an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Also included would be electronic stability control, traction control system, emergency brake assist, hill start assist, reversing camera, rear park assist sensors and engine immobiliser.
The new SUV measures 4,825mm length, 1,860mm in width, 1,840mm in height, and has a wheelbase of 2,845mm. The India-spec model is expected to be powered by a 3.0-litre common-rail direct-injection engine that develops 162bhp of power and 360Nm of torque mated to five-speed manual or automatic transmission. It will be available in 4x4 and 4x2 formats.
Isuzu India had in April inaugurated its new manufacturing facility at Sri City, Andra Pradesh. The MU-X will be manufactured at this new plant, along with the D-Max V-Cross and the D-Max. The SUV will be pitted against Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour and Chevrolet Trailblazer.