By on September 26, 2014

1024px-Chevrolet_LUV_02

Isuzu and GM agreed to develop a next-generation mid-size pickup for world markets, though Canada and the United States will get their own distinct model under the terms of the agreement.

Although GM has held as much of 49 percent of Isuzu’s equity, the tie-up was wound down in 2006. The two companies have a long history of collaboration on trucks, starting with the Chevrolet LUV and continuing through the current Isuzu D-Max, which shares a significant amount of technology with the current GM mid-size trucks.

The next-generation truck will be important for markets like Thailand and Australia, where mid-size pickups play a role akin to America’s full-size trucks.

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48 Comments on “GM, Isuzu Back In LUV...”


  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Holy crap, I LUV that little trucky! And it has absolutely nothing to do with utility. It’s a 2-seat sports car for the risk averse like me. Complete vehicular intimacy.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Some wacky part of me wants to buy this:

      japaneseclassicsllc.com/1989-nissan-sunny-truck-25k-miles-4-speed-8495.html

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        OMG yes! Even with the RHD and grunged seat. I’ve got Krud Kutter.

      • 0 avatar
        Superdessucke

        I don’t think you’re alone. Many of us have a craving for the stripper small pick up that you simply cannot get anymore. Call this joint venture the LUV, throw in some retro styling cues (including the rubber floor interior), make it reasonably small and light, and you won’t be able to keep them in the showroom.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      @ pete,

      My ultimate two seat sports car is a 2003 Sonoma SLS, stepside box, factory lowered ZQ8 suspension, V6 and 5 speed.

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        Well, that’s fine for a young buck like you.

        Alls I want is that little guy in the photo to putter around my sleepy village with, maybe take a couple 55 gal’s to the yard dump, maybe haul something bulky from a yard sale…

        You want a badass helmet, I want a straw hat.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          Nope. Ever driven a 4300 Vortec equipped vehicle? They are lazy and laid back. Perfect for exactly what you describe, not for street racing.

          I may be a young buck, but I drive a brand new Buick.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            “Ever driven a 4300 Vortec equipped vehicle?”

            If that was the 4.3L V-6 in my ’94 Shevvie Truk, yeah.

            I thought it was an awesome, roaring monster.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Yup, thats the one. Torquey, thirsty and loud.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            I kept it for years as a Home Depot hauler and my preferred highway traveler. Nice supplement to our 4-cyl DDs. Suited my driving style perfectly, cruised blissfully at 80-ish and drank like a Scot.

            Who needs a V8?

        • 0 avatar
          3Deuce27

          I hear ya Petezeiss,

          I looked for years for a nice 79′-80′ LUV and one just fell into my lap, and for only $1,200. The owner said he had tried to sell it for that for several years so he could buy a Trooper and nobody would pay it. I told him no problem and gave him what he thought it was worth. He got his Trooper and I’m ecstatic having another LUV.

          I just dug out some gen-3 RX7 power seats in Red and Black to put in the little hauler. Will go down to the auto paint supply store and have them mix up some Red paint to match the seats and prep her for paint next week. The hunt for the original LUV styled steel wheels, is in process, should still be in the storage loft. Will sand blast them and get them powder coated Black. The real challenge is finding a good dash pad, may have to have a new one made.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            You’ve gotta be a happy camper with that find. I’d give up dip for a year to have that happen to me.

            Hell, that would probably more than pay for the truck.

        • 0 avatar
          Superdessucke

          55 gals? As in age 55? You’re kinky ;-)

    • 0 avatar
      Advance_92

      “It’s a 2-seat sports car for the risk averse like me. Complete vehicular intimacy.”

      Not to mention the bed’s probably bigger than the Dodge behind it.

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        Boom! Hee-heeee

        • 0 avatar
          -Nate

          That Nissan Sunny Pee – Cup is SWEET ! .

          But $8,500 ?! no way Jose’ .

          Here in the U.S. I recall mostly fleet side Pups , when I went up to North Washington and Canada I saw scads of step sides .

          -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            The stepside was a popular aftermarket conversion.

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            “The stepside was a popular aftermarket conversion.”

            As was the convertible kit. We did one for a friend, who had also put a Turbo V6 Buick into his. My son installed a V6 Buick in his, his first engine transplant, he was so proud of his accomplishment following in dad’s foot steps, though, I had no input or idea he was doing the conversion.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        “Not to mention the bed’s probably bigger than the Dodge behind it.”

        Nope, it’s not. The LUV pictured has a 6′ bed. The Dodge Mega Cab behind came with a 76″ bed, or 6’4″.

        • 0 avatar
          Advance_92

          There was also a seven and a half foot bed available, so it could have been possible.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            As I said, the LUV *pictured*. The long-bed LUV was unmistakable from the short-bed, but was less common in the first-gen because it wasn’t introduced ’til ’78.

        • 0 avatar
          3Deuce27

          The 2-wd bed was 7-1/2′ and the 4×4 bed was even shorter at a called 6′, but a net 5′-8″. Despite that, I hauled many cords of wood out of the NW forests helped by a Datsun pick-up bed trailer, and many tons of rock for landscape and dry wells, and building materials. That little hauler was always loaded with something.

          Many complained of the 80Hp engine, but it was well geared in the 4x and I never had and issue. Among my friends and family, it was famous for its 4x abilities due to its independent front suspension, at the time unheard of in the 4x world of trucks, and its light weight.

          I bought mine after the 81’s had come out, and I traded in a brand new Toyota 4x for the LUV. The Toyota was a handling mess with its wind catching factory jacked up height and solid front axle. I had to do a lot of daily freeway driving in the windy Columbia River Gorge, and the Toyo was blown all over the road and was especially dangerous in wind and ice conditions. It had to go.

          I found the brand new left over 80′ model year LUV took it for a weekend test drive and didn’t give it back. It ranks among my top five best vehicles that I have owned from new with the exception of my 41′ Cad, which while purchased used, is also on the list at number six. They are in order of purchase_ 41′ Cadillac, 73′ Opel Manta, 80′ LUV, 88′ Chevy 4x extra-cab, 93′ MX5, 96′ BMW 328is. All of these vehicles were long term vehicles, some with near and over 200,000 miles without any major component repair or replacement. Still own the Miata and the 88′ Chevy pick-up.

          With the purchase of the LUV, I now have to decide what to do with my very nice low mileage 85′ Nissan King Cab 4x. It gets very little use and will get even less now that I have the LUV. Would like to give it to my son, but he vows to never own a carbon fueled vehicle, and at 26, still doesn’t have a DL. I raised him well.

    • 0 avatar
      3Deuce27

      If only…

      I bought a new 80′ LUV 4×4 Mikado, one of the best vehicles I have ever owned in the past 50+ years of vehicle ownership. I should have never sold it, but just recently in a chance meeting I bought from the original owners son, another 1980 LUV 2-wheel drive with the long box in great condition, the dash pad, carpets and paint being the only cosmetic part to have suffered over the past 35 years, mechanically it is still solid at 121,+++ miles.

      Now I’m back to a 25+ mpg mpg utility vehicle for both local use and those long trips to Portland/Seattle and the Bay area with a load or to pick up a load. No longer will I have put fuel into a 15 mpg max, big truck that is under utilized for light loads.

      While it handles very well, it doesn’t handle quite as good as the 4×4, but then it has a longer wheelbase and I haven’t put on larger performance tires, yet. I ran wide ovals on my original LUV and it was like driving a sports car with a box on the back. A thoroughly enjoyable little truck that never had any issues and would handle loads like a big truck while getting 22(hi-4WD)-32 MPG(Hwy).

      I will be restoring this truck while I use it, and there is the possibility of putting in a spare Miata 1.6 engine and 5-speed transmission, if I can’t find a later ISUZU 5-speed. Trying to hunt down a fibreglass canopy for it. With paint, carpet, seats redone, and some performance all-weather tires on some nice rims I will be into it, all up, at about $3,500, a bargain. I will own this truck till I drop.

      If only GM and ISUZU would reincarnate this great little truck.

      • 0 avatar
        3Deuce27

        Light Utility Vehicle (LUV), with emphasis on Utility, best describes Chevrolet’s 1979 4-wheel-drive pickup truck, winner of the Motor Trend “Truck of the Year” Award.

        Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/oftheyear/truck/truck_of_the_year_winners/#ixzz3ETGguoht

  • avatar
    Duaney

    Wish oh wish that they would sell a new Pup or Luv diesel for the US market! Clean examples from the early 80’s, (30 years old now!), regularly sell for 5-7 thousand dollars.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do think that this article is slightly incorrect.

    From what I can gather this story started with the Nikkei.

    Izuzu and GM did develop the current Colorado/Dmax in partnership in Brazil.

    Here in Australia the Colorado based Dmax has an Izuzu diesel, Aisin transmission and differing body panels than the Colorado.

    The Nikkei also talks of engine sharing.

    Maybe since VM Motori is owned by Fiat, GM might not want to support Fiat by purchasing the current 2.5 and 2.8 VM diesels fitted to the Colorado.

    It might be possible that Izuzu diesels will be used in the future.

    Also, the article is talking of emerging market pickups.

    Australia will receive the US based Colorado soon and not the global.

    So, there could very well be two versions of the Colorado getting around, the emerging economy version and the OECD version.

    http://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/Isuzu-GM-to-jointly-develop-pickup-truck

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      Nobody cares about these new pricey porkers and nobody will buy them. Too close in size and cost to a full-size pickup.

      It’s the little guys we love. Just ’cause.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Forget the little guys. They’ll never make them again, due to government rules, rules, and more rules. You’ll get a midsize 4-door with bed rails six feet off the ground, and you’ll like it!

        • 0 avatar
          petezeiss

          Sad geezer is sad.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          I know, how dare the government want us to not die in a crash.

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            Its not the government, its the insurance industry. The government only wants you to live if you are a contributor to the capitalist economy, other wise please do, drop dead, as your worst then dead weight. And the corporatists would like you to drop dead as soon as your SS/Medicare matures so they can milk more money out of the government through contracts and corporate welfare.

            Plus they will be more money for bombs and Tomahawk missiles. It is always a good day when we waste baddies and innocents with those expensive arms. Never mind that each laser guided bomb could repair a mile of highway or fix a country bridge, and a Tomahawk could probably build a small bridge. And so it goes…….forever war. Remember kiddies, the bad guys are peeking in your bedroom window while planting a bomb under your bed in your crawl space.

            Be afraid, very afraid. It translates into big bucks for somebody not you unless you buy stock in war material suppliers.

            So much for the anti-war president who thinks balls are bombs and has no political courage.

            My Friday night Rita fueled rant.

        • 0 avatar
          3Deuce27

          Reg; “They’ll never make them again,”

          Yes, they will, the environment will demand it, and eventually, most will be EV’s.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @3Deuce27
            I can visualise it now.

            Kei size pickups all powered by batteries.

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            Are you being a smart ass AL… COL!

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            The environment will remind us we’ve been in one of its periodic ice ages for nearly two million years and we’re nearing the end of a short interglacial warm period. A doubling or even tripling of CO2, a trace gas, won’t change that. It’s hubris to think humans are that all-powerful.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!” – Isuzu

  • avatar
    Monty

    Derek:

    Do you do this deliberately? Posting a minimum of one mini-pickup/ute story a week is a sure fire way to start the small truck flame wars each and every time.

    Or maybe you just take some perverse pleasure out of it? Firing up the Ranger jihad once a week?

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I wouldn’t want anything smaller than the current crop of mid-sized trucks. We will get the Colorado/Canyon and the rest of the planet will get a poverty spec Isuzu with 1 ton HD springs.

    The Colorado/Canyon siblings being released by GM have decent specs and so far have gotten good reviews.

    These are the specs for the Colorado/Canyon:

    3,500 lb for base and 7,000 for max tow package is good. These ratings are based on SAE testing criteria.
    Cargo ratings are very good and in many cases superior to many 1/2 ton pickups.

    Cargo

    Ext. Cab 6’2″ box
    4×2
    2.5/mt………….1,410
    2.5/a……………1,450
    3.6………………1,580
    4×4
    2.5………………1,430
    3.6………………1,560

    Crew cab 5’2″ box
    4×2
    2.5 …………….1,460
    3.6……………..1,590
    4×4
    3.6……………..1,590

    crew cab 6’2″ box
    3.6
    4×2……………1,540
    4×4……………1,520

    These cargo ratings mean that these trucks can actually tow a max rated trailer and still have extra capacity for passengers and gear (unlike FCA).

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Lou_BC,
      I do think the US GM midsize twins have a nicer look about them than the globals. From what I’ve read this is what the Colorado was meant to be.

      This is good news. Here the GM twins which the sibling is a Dmax don’t quite reach the same level of refinement that the other newer midsizer’s have reached.

      As for the Izuzu comment. The Izuzu is similar to the global Colorado in features and design. There is no poverty pack, there is a base model and Izuzu doesn’t come as cheap as the Colorado as their is no small gasoline offering. It has the same suspension as the global Colorado and they do ride rougher than the Amarok, global Ranger and BT50.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Lou_BC – That’s one thing that’s nice about the Colorado. It gains cargo capacity as options, size and weight increases. It has to be the only truck on earth that does that! And unlike the diesel FCA you bring up, when the Colorado gains a diesel, cargo capacity will increase too!!!

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @DenverMike – It does look like GM had done their homework on the Colorado. On the other site we frequent the Ram Jihad gets all bent out of shape when I point out the fact that Ram has poor cargo ratings.
        I do think that there will be cross-shopping between the Colorado diesel and the Ram Ecodiesel. It is a logical conclusion to make. Both will be the only small diesels and both will have similar mpg ratings. The Ram has a towing advantage erased by crappy cargo ratings. That should give an edge to the Colorado with better cargo ratings.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Lou
          I also think there will be some cross shopping between potential V6 full size and the Colorado.

          I don’t think many V8 pickup shoppers will come over, unless they were after acceleration, even then I do think a V6 Colorado should be quite good in this area.

          As for the diesel, when that arrives you might get a handful of V8 full size customers, especially if they are going to tow a 24′ caravan or camper trailer.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    “The next-generation truck will be important for markets like Thailand and Australia, where mid-size pickups play a role akin to America’s full-size trucks.”
    Yeas but we differ from Thailand in having a variety of different trucks. The US is more like Thailand, in that Pickups, play a much greater role than other types of vehicles

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