ANAHEIM, Calif. — Isuzu and Utilimaster have partnered to create an all-new Reach commercial walk-in van. Production began earlier this week at Utilimaster’s assembly facility in Wakarusa, Ind.
With a body designed by Utilimaster atop an Isuzu NPR chassis and powered by Isuzu’s 3.0-litre diesel engine, company officials say the EPA-compliant Reach achieves 35% better fuel economy than a traditional commercial van and combines the functionality of a custom-built work truck with the styling and ergonomics of a cargo van.
Units will begin arriving at Isuzu’s network of over 285 dealers nationwide in early November.
“We’re thrilled that production of the Reach has begun and that fleet and vocational buyers will soon be able to enjoy the dramatically low cost of ownership this vehicle delivers,” said Shaun Skinner, executive vice-president and general manager of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America. “The Reach truly lives up to its name – it reaches a new standard in low cost of ownership that no other commercial van can match.”
“We believe the Reach will truly revolutionize the commercial van market. We have worked extensively to design a body that offers significantly more interior height and width than other commercial vans, and it will have multiple design options to maximize utility and driver productivity,” said John Marshall, senior vice-president of sales and marketing for Utilimaster.
“Beyond delivery fleets, we believe this new van will appeal to an enormous segment of the commercial truck market.”
The Reach features Isuzu’s bio-diesel fuel compatible 4JJ1-TC 3.0-liter turbocharged engine generating 150 horsepower, mated to an Aisin medium-duty six-speed automatic transmission. Both the engine and transmission have B10 durability ratings of 310,000 miles.
Utilimaster guided the development of the Reach’s aerodynamic shape, along with its use of composite materials, which officials say work together improve fuel efficiency and reduce interior noise. The lightweight composite materials provide a 700-lb weight savings compared to traditional aluminum and steel materials. The Reach van also employs impact-resistant composite panels that are designed to reduce overall maintenance costs. For example, in the event of a collision, the company says the vehicle’s lower body cladding can be “easily and quickly” replaced with simple tools in an effort to reduce downtime.
The Reach is offered with a 151-inch wheelbase with either a 12- or 14-foot body. With an interior up to 27 inches higher than a conventional van, the cargo area can offer 540 or 630 cubic feet of storage.
Other design features include the ability for the driver to enter the cargo area without leaving the vehicle, increased width and headroom compared to conventional vans, and the option of either rear swing doors or an integrated, composite roll-up door.
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