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The Isuzu VehiCROSS was a halo car for the SUV-specialist company Isuzu. Produced from 1997 (Japanese market 1997-1999) through 2001 (US market 1999-2001), it shared much of its components with the Trooper, including both its 3.2L and 3.5L V6 engine that produces 215bhp (160kW) at 5400 rpm and 230lb·ft (312N·m) at 3000 rpm of torque. The vehicle also featured the TOD (Torque on Demand) 4-wheel Drive system produced by BorgWarner. It is a small, sporty 2-door crossover vehicle with aggressive external styling, including short overhangs, an aggressive forward stance, titanium "teeth" in the grille, a black hood-insert, and black plastic cladding the entire lower half of the vehicle. The VehiCROSS came equipped with 16" polished wheels in 1999 and 18" chrome wheels during the remainder of production.

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Now available in the US, Isuzu's VehiCROSS is powered by a 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V-6 with 215 hp and a 4-speed automatic transmission. It's a truly unique, 4 wheel drive, 3 door SUV .

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The VehiCROSS was highly regarded for its cross-terrain performance. It combines a computer-controlled all-wheel-drive system for on-road driving and a locked-differential low gear four-wheel-drive system for off-road driving. Its computer controlled "Torque on Demand" system, with 12 independent sensors detecting wheel spin and redirecting power to the wheels with the most traction, gives the VehiCROSS a high level of traction on wet and icy roads. It also has a high level of performance for its height. While possessing on-road nimbleness, its body-on-frame truck construction, suspension and 4WD gearing made it very capable off-road.

Sales were intentionally limited, with only 4,309 vehicles being produced between 1999 and 2001, and just 4,153 finding homes in the United States in three years of sales. As it stands, the vehicle has an obscure role in history; although, the vehicle appeared in the 2000 film Mission to Mars as a convertible fitted with futuristic engine sound effects.

Upon its unveiling at the 1993 Tokyo International Auto Show and ultimate Japanese production release in 1997, the VehiCROSS was a design ahead of its time. It was the first time that a Japanese automaker had brought a concept vehicle to production with so little design changes and in so short a time (accomplished through the use of inexpensive ceramic body-stamping dies and the reuse of readily-available Isuzu parts). The truck was intended to showcase Isuzu's off-road technology, exemplified by the monotube shocks with external heat-expansion chambers (technology normally reserved for off-road motorcycle racing).

Motor Trend featured the VehiCROSS on its May 1999 cover, and included it in its "Top 10 Sport Utilities" for Most Unique Styling.

Four Wheeler featured the VehiCROSS as the "First Runner Up" for Four Wheeler of the Year in 2000 behind the Tahoe Z71; when pitted against: Chevrolet Tahoe Z71, GMC Yukon, Nissan Xterra, Ford Excursion and Mitsubishi Montero Sport. The VehiCROSS scored highest of all 6 Mechanically, for Trail Performance and Highway Performance.



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