Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc. introduced its new NPR Eco-Max low-cab forward Class 3 truck at The Work Truck Show, held in St. Louis last week by the National Truck Equipment Assn. The 12,000-lb GVWR truck offers up to 20% improved fuel economy and increased payload capacity compared to previous NPR models, said the OEM.

The new 2011 model year truck is powered by Isuzu’s “next generation” 4JJ1-TC diesel engine, which has used globally in the truck maker’s N-Series models for the last five years. The 4J engine family dates back to 1984 and is the highest volume engine produced by Isuzu. This is the first time the engine will be available in the U.S. market.

The turbocharged, 4-cylinder, 3-liter engine delivers 150 hp and 282 lbs.-ft torque. The 4J is 2010 EPA and CARB OBD compliant. It offers a B10 engine life rating of 310,000 miles, which means 90% of the engines should reach this mileage before needing an overhaul, stated Isuzu. The engine is mated to an Aisin heavy-duty, six-speed automatic transmission with double overdrive and lockup PTO function.

“The NPR Eco-Max is the result of Isuzu’s commitment to help our environment by significantly reducing emissions and fuel usage,” said Shaun Skinner, executive vp & gm of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc. “This truck is a product of our SEE design philosophy, which stands for Safety, Economy and Environment. This model has been specifically created to reduce the cost of ownership while meeting the world’s most stringent emissions requirements. We accomplished this without sacrificing performance, durability, or operating costs.

“Due to its broad torque curve, power density and 6-speed transmission, the NPR ECO-MAX has shown better hill climbing ability than the model it replaces,” Skinner continued. “It’s also up to 170 lbs lighter, so it offers increased payload capacity. We expect this unit to deliver enhanced productivity, minimum downtime and the lowest operating cost in the Class 3 truck segment.”

The cab of the NPR Eco-Max is the same size as the previous NPR and provides three-across seating. The cab tilts for easier servicing of the engine and transmission. Wheelbase choices of 110, 134 and 151 in accommodate bodies up to 16 ft in length.

In addition to the Eco-Max, Isuzu also introduced the rest of its 2011 N-Series lineup:

  • NPR-HD (14,500 lbs GVWR)
  • NQR (17,950 lbs GVWR)
  • NRR (19,500 lbs GVWR)

These higher-GVW trucks will be powered by a “heavily revised version” of the 5.2L 4HK1-TC engine first introduced in the 2005 model year. For 2011, the 4HK features increased power output (from 205 to 210 hp with an automatic transmission, and from 175 to 190hp with manual transmission) and up to 8% better fuel economy, said Isuzu. Like the 4JJ1-TC engine powering the new Eco-Max, this revised 4HK1 engine is both EPA 2010 and CARB HD-OBD emissions compliant.

“Isuzu’s 2011 N-Series will be the only low cab forward trucks available for sale this year that meet the EPA’s 2010 emissions requirement with not only one engine but two engines,” Skinner pointed out “Isuzu is proud to introduce a product that meets the world’s most stringent emissions standards while reducing our customer’s cost of ownership through significantly improved vehicle fuel economy.”

For more information on Eco-Max and the full N-series line, go to www.isuzucv.com or call 866-441-9638.