Debuting at the New York show in 2000, the Isuzu VX-O2 was derived from the Isuzi VehiCROSS. The Isuzu VX 02 concept was designed by Isuzu's California studio and was built by ItalDesign's prototype shop close by. The 02 moniker stands for oxygen and this extreme sport utility vehicle definitely delivers. Keeping the open-air, two-seat version, the VX-02 is designed to test the limits of all-road performance. The ‘Active Ride Control' system installed adjusts for touring or sport driving. This system senses terrain and continuously adjusts shock valving to provide superior ride and handling on and off-road.
Continuing the evolution of the extreme Sport Utility Vehicle, the VX-02 is refined with one of the world's most sophisticated production SUV suspension systems. Featuring VehiCross's very proven front double wishbone and rear center, four-link coil suspension, this was augmented by the first production use of expansion-chamber equipped shocks that were made from aircraft quality 6061-T8 extruded aluminum. During high energy driving this design controls cavitation and heat fading most shocks experience.
A CPU monitors input from eleven different sensors to select from 17 different damping settings. The driver is able to select a bias for either touring or sport driving due to an adjustment switch on the center console. Aggressive traction is available through 18-inch wheels and tires while revealing the racy cross-drilled four-wheel ventilated disc brakes.
The VX-02 features a ‘speedster' tonneau cover, chopped windshield, sculpted integrated rear wine, dual chrome-tipped exhaust, mesh aluminum grille, and an articulating, retractable hard top. Integrated bike attachments, snazzy customized front side and rear ski plates, Recaro Sport leather-trimmed seats with four-point safety harnesses, individual storage compartments installed into the tonneau cover and integrated speakers and microphones are some of the unique features in the Isuzu VX-02. Projector beam fog lamps and customized front, side and rear skid plates enhanced the VX-02's all-weather/all-road performance.
The interior of the VX-02 featured a Race Red and Carbon Gray two-toned interior with two leather trimmed Recaro Sport seats. The interior theme was inspired by motor sport and showcased ergonomic pedals and steering wheel, carbon fiber shifter handle and customized floor mats with heel plate that formed the basic driver/vehicle interface.
Inside the Isuzu VX-02 is a ‘waterfall' console that featured docking ports to interface palm-sized PC's and cell phones with the AutoPC™ system, along with temperature-controlled cup holders and a ‘Camelback' cooler.
An all aluminum-alloy port-injected DOHC, 24-valve, 3.5-liter V6 engine inside the VX-02 featured variable intake tuning and direct ignition that achieved 215 horsepower at 5400 rpm and 230 ft. lb of torque at 3000 rpm. Sensing road conditions, the super four-speed automatic transmission with advanced torque-on-demand technology instantly balances dive torque front-to-rear to achieve maximum traction. This system is able to be set up and automatically adjust drive torque from 100% rear drive to 50:50 4WD or any ratio between. VX-02 gives drivers a great sense of confidence no matter what the road condition may be with TOD, a high quality limited slip differential, retractable hard top and four-wheel ABS.By Jessica Donaldson