A terrifying 26-foot hill, a trapeze, the Kramers and live bands were among the highlights of Isuzu Philippines Corporation’s (IPC) Off-Road Fest on November 27 to 29 at the Bonifacio Global City’s (BGC) 9th Avenue Open Grounds.
The company said the event was meant to showcase their 3.0-liter D-MAX and mu-X, which were unveiled near the end of October this year.
“The Isuzu Off-Road Fest is designed to push the limit of our Isuzu mu-X and D-MAX models. We want the public not just to see but to experience by themselves the true power of our new 3.0-liter VGS turbo variants,” said IPC president Hajime Koso.
Thrill hill, axle twisters
One of the event’s major attractions is the off-road test course, where visitors can drive the 4×4 variants of the D-MAX and mu-X through simulated off-roading obstacles under professional supervision.
Fast Times was in the passenger seat of the D-MAX 4×4 (with a professional driver behind the wheel) as we started with the “axle twisters,” which are nearly two-foot-high platforms designed to test a vehicle’s suspension travel and traction since not all of the wheels are in contact with the ground. With the D-MAX in low range, we traversed the obstacle and had some wheelspin. But with some extra momentum, we moved right along.
Next were the metal rollers that simulate low-grip conditions that tests a car’s center differential. The D-MAX breezed through with ease, along with the small rock pit afterwards.
But the next obstacle was truly mind-blowing. Known as the “thrill hill,” it is a 26-foot-high metal structure that has over-45-degree inclines on either side. As the D-MAX commenced its climb, it pins a passenger to the leather seat as if in a roller coaster. All the passengers could see ahead of the pick-up’s nose were the heavens. BGC’s towers on either side of the windshield framed the clear afternoon sky, where the white clouds foregrounded the bright, blue sea above.
Fast Times’ resident off-road contributor Beeboy Bargas, who helped facilitate the course, said drivers must be very careful with the throttle on the way up because of the engine’s immense torque. He said the engine speed should stay right at 1,500 revolutions per minute.
Once at the top, passengers could see over the whole event compound. Buildings filled half of the majestic skyline ahead, with the setting sun to the right painting the towering structures a warm, yellowish glow. The D-MAX’s seat belt hugged passengers tight as the pick-up gently descended from the steel perch.
On-road test drives, the Kramers and a flying trapeze
Isuzu also showcased 4×2 variants of the mu-X and D-MAX for on-road testing around BGC (see Fast Times first drive of these in a separate story), along with modified units showcasing the various parts and accessories available for the sport utility vehicle and pick-up.
Between the off-road course and the flying trapeze, a 200-person mini-concert area hosted performances of Itchyworms, DJ Nix Damn P and The Dawn. During the event’s first day, Isuzu brand ambassadors The Kramers dropped by for a meet-and-greet.
“This three-day festival is also our way of saying thank you to the Filipino market for their continued support to our products over the years,” Koso said.