The VehiCROSS was a design ahead of its time, this first time that a Japanese automaker produced a concept vehicle to production with so few design changes, and in such a short time. This was done through the use of inexpensive ceramic body-stamping dies along with the reuse of readily-available Isuzu parts. Exemplifying the monotube shocks with external heat-expansion chambers, the truck was intended to showcase Isuzu's off-road technology. The VehiCROSS was featured on the cover of Motor Trend's May 1999 issue and included it in its 'Top 10 Sport Utilities' for Most Unique Styling.
Introduced at the 1993 Tokyo Auto Show, the Isuzi VehiCROSS was produced in an attempt to re-shape the then developing SUV market. With the objective to create a ‘Lightweight, compact, ecologically clean and functional' vehicle, the Isuzu VehiCROSS was a vehicle unique in the automotive world. The halo car for the SUV-specialist company, Isuzu, the VehiCROSS was produced from 1997 through 1999 in the Japanese market.
The chief designer/manager for Isuzu's European office in Brussels, Satomi Murayama led a design team comprised of an international group: Simon Cox, Joji Yanaka, Nick Robinson and Andrew Hill. Produced from 1991 through 2001, the Isuzu VehiCROSS shared many similarities with the Rodeo and Trooper, even its 3.2 L and 3.5L V6. A sporty 2-door crossover vehicle, the VehiCROSS is a small vehicle with aggressive external styling that includes ‘teeth' in the grille, black plastic cladding the entire lower half of the vehicle and a black hood-insert. In 1999 the VehiCROSS was equipped with 16' polished wheels before being replaced with 18' chrome wheels.
Extremely popular for its cross-terrain performance, the VehiCROSS is the first and only vehicle that combines a computer-controlled all-wheel-drive system for on-road driving along with a locked-differential low gear four-wheel-drive system for off-road maneuvering.
The Isuzu VehiCROSS had a high level of traction on both wet and icy roads due to its computer controlled ‘Torque On Demand' system tat carried 12 independent sensors that detected wheel spin and redirected power to the wheels with the most traction. For its height, the VehiCROSS had a high level of performance.
Only 4,309 total vehicles were ever produced during its production period, and only 4,153 where in the US in three years of sales.By Jessica Donaldson