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Photo of VX concept taken at Isuzu HQ, by Daver!


VehiCROSS History: From Concept to Reality.
The VehiCROSS made its first appearance at the 1993 Tokyo Auto Show. While most design studios and manufacturers go to great extents to produce outrageous mock-ups and make claims of their mock-ups great technical ability (based on mostly untested principle), the VehiCROSS concept was actually produced to do both. In an attempt to re-shape the then developing SUV market, Isuzu managed to create a vehicle unique in the automotive world. The VehiCROSS's objective was to create a "Lightweight, compact, ecologicaly clean and functional" vehicle, and "...to produce an emotional recreational vehicle, one that you will care about. The design is paramount."

Led by Satomi Murayama, chief designer/manager at Isuzu's European office in Brussels, the design team was comprised of an international group: Simon Cox (Assistant Chief Designer best known for designing the Lotus Elan's interior), Joji Yanaka, Andrew Hill and Nick Robinson. The task was to build a "lightweight but tough, fun but environmentall friendly" SUV. Isuzu did this in spades.

Features unique to the Prototype:
  • 205 Section tires
  • Carbonfiber Grill
  • Carbonfiber Hood Insert
  • Hood Hinges (the fangs) that open the hood forward
  • Rear Window opens upward (like a hatch), while the door swings to the side (like the production model)
  • Carbonfiber Floor panels
  • Carbonfiber Fuel Tank
  • Aluminium Chassis (weighs 200 lbs)
  • Double wishbone and twin shock absorbers all round
  • Direct-injected supercharged 1.6 liter engine (close relative of the Lotus Elan) said to produce the power of a 2.2 liter motor
  • Fitted Tow-hitch
  • Two-piece back door, with top opening upwards and bottom swinging to the side.
  • Motorcycle type binnacle (above steering wheel)
  • Vertical Sub-panel fitted with gauges and Sony Satellite navigation system w/LED pop-up Monitor (comes out of dash-top)
VehiCROSS Production Numbers
Exterior Paint Interior 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Total
Victory White or Ironman Red/Black - - 420 96 86 602
Ebony Black Red/Black - - 564 51 87 702
Astral Silver Metallic Red/Black - - 1021 - - 1021
Kaiser Silver Metallic Red/Black - - - 57 101 158
Kaiser Silver Metallic Gray/Black - - - 135 251 386
Ebony Black Gray/Black - - - 138 226 364
Proton Yellow Gray/Black - - - 111 368 479
Dragon Green Mica Gray/Black - - - 125 105 230
Foxfire Red Mica Gray/Black - - - 90 120 210
Pearl White Metallic Red/Black - - - - - 1
Totals N/A ? ? 2005 803 1345 4153
Total Exported from Japan from 1999-2001 is 4,309


Edition Variations
The Japanese VX stayed the same from beginning to end, except for the 175 Ltd Edition.
Japanese Exterior:
  • 5 Exterior colors (White, Black, Blue, Green and Red - 25 Colors on 175 LTD version)
  • Wheels: Matte 16 inch or Chrome 16 inch on 175 LTD version
  • Headlights: Direct Quartz Bulb
  • Right Side Fender Mirror
  • Round Side Marker Lights behind wheel well
  • Black Grill Fangs
  • Keyed Entry
  • Electric Folding Heated Door Mirrors
Japanese Interior:
  • Cloth Patterned Seats (2-tone leather on 175 LTD version)
  • Momo Steering Wheel
  • Rear View Camera plus 2-DIN TV/Cassette Stereo w/Sat-Nav Option
  • Short Center Arm Rest
  • No Rear Headrests
Japanese Technical:
  • 3.2 L Engine
  • Stiffer Suspension Settings
  • 2Lo 2Hi TOD
The US VX was offered in basic trim or Ironman Edition
US Exterior:
  • 4 colors, increased to 6 (plus one color change) in 2000
  • Wheels: Chrome 16 inch changed to Chrome 18 inch in 2000
  • Headlights: Reflected Quartz Bulb
  • Side Marker Lights above wheel well
  • Brushed Metal Grill Fangs
  • Standard Keyless Entry
US Interior:
  • 2-Tone Leather Seats w/matching Interior Trim (Red/Black or Gray/Black)
  • Standard Cruise Control
  • Climate Control on 2000 and 2001 models
  • Remote Garage Door Option
  • Tall Center Arm Rest
  • Rear Headrests
US Technical:
  • 3.5 L Engine
  • 2Lo TOD
Ironman Edition:
  • Victory White Paint
  • Hood Insert Decal
  • Side Pillar Decals
  • Rear Hatch Decal
  • Factory Yakima Roof racks
  • Embossed Ironman Seats
  • Embroidered Ironman Floor Mats
  • Sony Xplod speakers with a Sony Xplod decal above the Ironman decal on the sides only on 2000 models


All images, captions and content are Copyright © 1997-2017 Isuzu Motors Corporation and/or John Eaton unless otherwise stated. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton, by clicking here.


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