ARB 4X4 Accessories has begun working in earnest on its range of accessories for the new 2021 Isuzu D-Max, now that the company has taken delivery of Australian-delivered models at its head office in Kilsyth, Victoria.
The three engineering programmes with the highest priority are protection (including bullbars, rear bars, side steps and brush bars), suspension and canopies.
These will be followed by a range of additional accessories like long-range fuel tanks, underbody bash plates and recovery points.
Although a prototype bullbar design has recently achieved sign-off, ARB Sales Director Matt Frost was unable to provide a date ARB will start releasing accessories for the 2021 D-Max to the Australian public.
While a lot of preliminary work was done on the new D-Max in Thailand, where it has been available since October 2019, ARB is continuing its accessory development on Australian-delivered utes to ensure there are no problems with the final product.
“In particular we wanted to conduct a thorough evaluation of the vehicle’s Intelligent Driver Assistance System, as passive and active safety systems can vary across countries."
All of Isuzu’s active safety smarts come via twin cameras mounted high in the windscreens. While Isuzu has stated that equipment like bullbars and UHF antennas won’t inhibit the operation of things like autonomous emergency braking and lane keep assist, ARB will still ensure calibration of its own gear on an Australian-delivered D-Max.
“To expedite delivery to our Australian customers, we will be building initial production runs at our Melbourne factory,” Mr Frost continued.
“Whilst some of our competitors may have already released product, I don’t believe they have stock as, like us, they will still need to verify compatibility.
“In fact, as they are reliant on third-party overseas manufacturers, I suspect we’ll have product in store before them.”