Flashback: The Isuzu Vehicross

1997: Before the MU-X, came the compact SUV highly-regarded for its truck-tough off-road prowess and edgy design. We present to you, the Isuzu VehiCROSS.

A design ahead of its time, the Isuzu VehiCROSS compact SUV first debuted in 1997, and was highly regarded for its off-road performance, thanks to its ‘Torque on Demand’ (TOD) 4WD system produced by BorgWarner. It combined the best of both worlds, with a computer controlled all-wheel-drive system for on-road driving and a locked-differential low-gear 4WD system for off-road driving. The short wheelbase design improved on-road agility and dynamics, while its body-on-ladder-frame chassis, long-travel suspension and 4WD gearing made it very capable when the going got tough off-road. Its aggressive external styling was quite radical in its day. This drew the attention of several Hollywood producers, making it the vehicle of choice in the 2000 sci-fi film Mission to Mars, before a brief cameo in the 2008 flick Babylon AD with Vin Diesel.

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