THE CURTAINS have dropped on Team D-Max’s hotly anticipated Concept X; bigger, badder, pumped-up versions of the venerable D-Max and MU-X.
The two steroid-fed, supersized Isuzus you’re ogling right now are the work of EMG Pty Ltd and Team D-Max – the crew famous for its precisiondriving party tricks.
“It was the tyres that got the project started,” explained Jack Monkhouse, Team D-Max’s lead driver. “We saw a set of gigantic tyres on the Toyo Tires stand and our boss, Wayne [Boatwright], joked about putting them on his company car.”
A joke’ regarding fitting these 38-inch Toyo tyres to a company car led to the creation of these beasts.
The tyres in question are 38-inch Toyo Open Country muddies (38x15.5R20s). To make these massive tyres – wrapped around Method MR610 Con6 20x12-inch wheels – fit beneath both the D-Max and MU-X, plenty of custom-fabrication work ensued – no easy feat.
“It would have been easy to bolt on many accessories, but we wanted to go our own way,” explained Wayne Boatwright, Director of EMG Pty Ltd and Team D-Max. “So most of the build – the guards, bullbars, bonnet, brakes, suspension and chassis modifications – are all in-house custom work.”
In tandem with the monster muddies, both vehicles copped custom 60mm remote reservoir shocks and a 7.0-inch suspension lift, with the D-Max’s rear leaf setup replaced with a custom MU-X-style five-link coil arrangement. The bespoke suspension work provides the D-Max with 370mm of ground clearance, a 49.7° approach angle and a 38.5° departure angle; while the MU-X gets 370mm of ground clearance, a 49.7° approach angle and a 37.3° departure angle.
Stopping power is afforded courtesy of custom TBS Racing six-piston calipers with 390mm full-floating discs (front) and custom TBS Racing four-piston calipers with 355mm full-floating discs (rear). In addition to the custom fabrication work applied to the steel fenders, bonnet, alloy bullbar and alloy rear bar, both vehicles have had 10,000lb WARN Zeon 10-S Platinum winches plonked both fore and aft.
“The Concept X duo is a bit on the wild side – they’re a bit like the evil cousins of the family,” Boatwright added. Isuzu’s 4JJ1 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel – 130kW/430Nm – remains unchanged, and both vehicles get the six-gear automatic cog-swapper. Interior fit-out of both rigs mirrors the premium styling of the LS-T.
The Concept-X vehicles were revealed at the 2018 National 4x4 Outdoors Show, Fishing & Boating Expo, held at the Melbourne Showgrounds.
You won’t see them in Isuzu showrooms, but they will be part of the Team D-Max repertoire as they tour the country over the following year.