Our friends from EarthCruiser recently announced the next generation of its popular EXP and FX EarthCruiser models, as well as its CORE Commercial and DIY brand vehicles, will transition to the Isuzu NPR Series Class 4 Platform. Along with EarthCruiser’s proprietary 4×4 drivetrain, built in Bend, Oregon, the Isuzu NPR is the most agile and capable vehicle in its class.
Take a quick look at the drone tour below:
The Isuzu NPR Platform
The Isuzu NPR chassis underpinning new EXP, FX, and CORE models offers an ideal size footprint with proven performance and dependability. EarthCruiser modifies this Isuzu platform for off-road use and applies its overlanding and engineering expertise. The end result is not only an incredibly capable off-road machine, but also the only production cab-over 4×4 vehicle in its class available in the U.S.
“We look forward to this new chapter, as we make the transition to Isuzu platforms for our 4×4 world-exploration vehicles,” said EarthCruiser General Manager Chad Knight. “Isuzu’s reputation for reliability and serviceability make it a great partner for our next-generation chassis. We’ve also found a great fit in Isuzu thanks to its shared commitment to domestically-produced vehicles.”
The Isuzu NPR chassis is assembled in Janesville, Wisconsin. The Isuzu NPR HD platform also benefits from an American-sourced power plant, a 6.6L, 350 horsepower, 425 pound-feet, V8, produced by General Motors for use in Heavy Duty pickup trucks.
In addition to packaging benefits, a cab-over platform also aids in overlanding and off-road drivability. The cab-over position offers unmatched visibility, critical in complex off-road situations, along with remarkable maneuverability. A cab-over design also enables the shortest possible vehicle with the largest possible living or cargo space. In addition, the completed EarthCruiser has a remarkably tight turning radius (36-inch inside diameter), which is roughly the same as a midsize pickup truck.
EarthCruiser’s Proprietary Four-Wheel-Drive System
The proprietary EarthCruiser four-wheel-drive system is key in transforming the Isuzu chassis into a unique go-anywhere 4×4 expedition vehicle. EarthCruiser’s bespoke 4×4 system meets the unique demands of off-road exploration. Practicality, durability, and serviceability drive every EarthCruiser design, including the 4×4 system, which was designed with widely available off-the-shelf components.
“Our proprietary 4-wheel-drive system is constantly being put to the test by our team, and it continues to impress in a variety of conditions,” said EarthCruiser Engineering Development Manager, Austin Stiemer. “The NPR’s 6.6L 6L90 GM powertrain is a great fit with EarthCruiser’s custom gearing, delivering strong low end torque on the trail, while maintaining efficient highway performance.”
Transforming a two-wheel-drive chassis into an innovative 4×4 exploration vehicle was no easy feat — especially without altering its powertrain. EarthCruiser effectively strips the stock chassis and replaces the entire suspension and driveline with its distinct design, including an Atlas transfer case and custom Fusion axles fitted with Auburn electronically locking differentials. The result is a rugged 4×4 system that does not compromise the vehicle’s EPA certification. Each EarthCruiser vehicle is also certified to meet and comply with stringent FMVSS and DOT standards.
EarthCruiser to Continue Supporting Mitsubishi Fuso Platform
For EarthCruiser owners on the Fuso platform, EarthCruiser remains committed to supporting its Fuso-chassis models alongside the new Isuzu-chassis models, backed by an international network of service and support centers.