All-new Isuzu bakkie will arrive in South Africa during the first half of next year.
All-new Isuzu bakkie will arrive in South Africa during the first half of next year.

Following its unveiling in Thailand last year, the all-new Isuzu D-Max (which will almost certainly continue with the KB name in South Africa) has gone on sale in the UK.

Although it'll be a while before we know the exact specifications of the South African KB, which is scheduled to arrive here during the first half of next year, the UK announcement does give us some insight into the new bakkie.

As with the British model, the local KB is likely to be offered in three body styles - single cab, double cab and an extended cab model that features rear-opening side-access panels.

The British D-Max will have only one engine option, which is a 2.5-litre twin-turbodiesel mated to either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic gearbox.

Fully compatible with the stringent Euro5 emissions laws, the engine generates 120kW and 400Nm - matching the VW Amarok's figures on the dot.

Expect the South African KB to offer a wider range of engines, most likely mirroring the Thai range, which consists of two 2.5-litre turbodiesels (in 87kW/280Nm and 101kW/320Nm guises) and a 132kW/380Nm 3-litre turbodiesel.

This latest Isuzu range also introduces a new 'shift on the fly' system that allows drivers two switch between 2WD and 4WD at speeds of up to 96km/h.

And despite being described as the most refined and efficient bakkie that Isuzu has ever made, it still has the credentials of a true workhorse, with a one-ton payload and three-ton braked towing capacity.

Interior specification is also pretty generous and although not necessarily a reflection of local models, it's worth mentioning that some of those models have features like heated front seats, automatic climate control and Bluetooth connectivity.