Isuzu is known for simple, reliable diesel engines – but it’s looking to an electrified future, provided people want it.

The brand has confirmed it’s investigating offering hybrid power for its D-Max ute and MU-X seven-seater, although it won’t rush to market without strong demand.

“What we can say is that Isuzu has a technology platform [from] small trucks, for electric vehicles, and also some of the hybrids,” said Koichiro Yoshida, director of sales, marketing, and fleet at Isuzu Australia.

“We are looking for the demand in Australia… depending on the demand we need to study to introduce such models, but at this moment we can’t talk about future models.”

Currently, the only engine offered in the D-Max and MU-X in Australia is a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel.

A 1.9-litre diesel engine with exhaust treatment is available overseas, but isn’t offered locally, where the D-Max and MU-X are favourites among families that tow and grey nomads.

The Ford Ranger and Everest are expected to move the game forward when they arrive late in 2022 by offering plug-in hybrid power.

It’s unlikely to be available at launch in Australia, but the Ranger is expected to be offered with a 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with a plug-in hybrid system.

The Ranger and Everest PHEV will produce around 270kW of power and 680Nm of torque, and is expected to offer a combined fuel economy of 3.0L/100km.

Our understanding is the plug-in hybrid setup is yet to be used in any Ford products globally.

Toyota is expected to follow the range of engines revealed at LandCruiser 300 Series launch with a hybrid V6, as part of a plan to offer a hybrid in each of its models – including the HiLux and Fortuner – by 2025.

Scott Collie

Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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