Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc. has introduced its newest model — the 2016 NPR Diesel — to the fleet market. The truck features a 13,000-pound GVWR and a 33.5-inch frame to offer more capability than previously available in an entry-level Isuzu diesel truck —while still providing legendary Isuzu durability and fuel economy.
“With a 13,000-pound GVWR, the new NPR Diesel approaches the capacity of a Class 4 truck, but at a Class 3 price,” said Shaun Skinner, executive vice president and general manager of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc. (ICTA). “This truck is the latest example of how Isuzu is committed to lowering the cost of truck ownership without sacrificing performance, practicality, long-term reliability or fuel efficiency.”
The 2016 NPR diesel meets the needs of a number of traditional applications, including:
• Snack and bakery.
• Moving and storage.
“We have received a warm welcome to the capabilities of the new 2016 NPR diesel. We expect businesses that are pushing the limits of their Class 2 operations will also realize the capacity, capability, and value of the new NPR,” said Brian Tabel, executive director of marketing for ICTA.
Tested & Approved
Adding the Class 4 Isuzu NPR to its lineup will assist the truckmaker in reaching the larger, diverse Class 3 market.
“Many of our Class 4 customers have applications that would benefit from a Class 3 low-cab forward (LCF) truck with a higher GVW and wheelbase capabilities that allow for trucks with longer bodies — essentially, medium-duty capabilities and features that provide the economies of a Class 3 truck,” Tabel said.
In the third and fourth quarters of 2014, Isuzu launched a customer study to learn more about customer needs for its existing customers and businesses that are currently not operating Isuzu trucks.
“We confirmed this working strategy as we received a number of requests from customers who were looking for Class 3 alternatives to Class 4 operations,” Tabel shared. “In late 2014, we built a limited number of 13,000-pound GVW trucks to test and analyze customer response. The result was an overwhelmingly positive response to the 13,000-pound Isuzu NPR.”
Isuzu’s action resulted in upgrading the company’s NPR ECO-MAX (12,000-pound GVWR) Class 3 diesel truck with the all-new 2016 NPR (13,000-pound GVWR) diesel truck, “providing Class 3 value approaching Class 4 capacities,” Tabel said.
According to Isuzu, current Class 3 customers were looking for increased GVWR and a chassis that could handle longer bodies, along with greater fuel economy, and a low cost of ownership without having to pay the extra up-front cost for a Class 4 medium-duty truck.
“The Class 4 customers were looking for increased fuel economy and a low cost of ownership without sacrificing payload and body length,” Tabel explained. “So, we blended some of the strengths of our NPR ECO-MAX and our NPR-HD and designed a truck to meet those needs that customers were seeking in a Class 3-4 truck. Now, Class 3 customers are able to get the new 2016 NPR diesel Class 3 truck that meets the needs they are looking for. Applications that require Class 4 capabilities are met with the full capabilities of Class 4 in our NPR-HD diesel model.”
Updated & Refreshed
The new NPR Diesel is powered by the 3.0L 4JJ1-TC turbocharged and intercooled diesel engine. The powerplant produces 150 hp and 282 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,600 to 2,800 rpm.
“With its peak torque available at low and mid-range engine speeds, the 4J engine gives drivers both good off-the-line acceleration and passing power,” Skinner said.
A 30-gallon rear-mounted in-rail fuel tank is standard. Additionally, the engine has a B-10 diesel engine life rating of 310,000 miles and is capable of running on B-20 biodiesel fuel.
The powerplant is mated to an Aisin A460 6-speed automatic transmission with double overdrive, lock-up torque converter that operates in second through sixth gears, and available PTO.
The 2016 NPR Diesel also features a standard powertrain limited warranty that covers engine and drivetrain against defects in material and workmanship for three years, unlimited mileage. The NPR Diesel is also warranted against perforation from corrosion for four years regardless of mileage.
According to Tabel, the most significant chassis feature of the 2016 NPR diesel is the industry-standard 33.5-inch chassis width. “This not only allows for upfitting of standard bodies, it also provides fleets and truck owners with the ability to upfit the new NPR with an existing body, if this is appropriate for their operations,” Tabel explained.
The new NPR accepts bodies up to 102-inches wide and 85-inches in height. With wheelbases from 109 inches to 176 inches, the NPR will accept bodies up to 20 feet in length.
“Our individual operators will now have a viable alternative with the heritage of Isuzu’s medium-duty range. Isuzu’s full line capabilities are legendary and our supports programs help ensure the best of lifecycle operation and the lowest cost of ownership,” Tabel concluded.
Production of the 2016 NPR Diesel began in Japan in November 2015 with December arrivals at dealers, and orders for the truck will be filled starting January 2016.