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Friday, May 8, 2015

The Isuzu 4200R Concept Never Made the Cut, But Should Have


Copyright © 2015 Bold Ride LLC.
isuzu 4200r concept gt5 photo

Intrinsically, all great concept cars evoke some type of emotional response. Fear, awe, lust – anything but indifference. In 1989, this gorgeous looker just about achieved all three. It’s called the Isuzu 4200R. Thanks to a mid-engine V8, racy looks and eyebrow raising features, it unveiled to mass acclaim at that year’s Tokyo Motor Show. 
The concept would never get the limited production run it so dearly deserved, yet it did live on more recently in a digital form – pictured here after careful recreation in Gran Turismo 5. Going on 26 years of age, we’d say it’s still quite the head turner.

isuzu 4200r concept gt5 sideview photo

From front to back, the 4200R has that concept car x-factor. Organic curves lead into hulking proportions, giving this 2+2 shape some real bite. It came as the brainchild of Isuzu designer Shiro Nakamura, who in 1988 ventured to Birmingham, England to establish Isuzu’s European design studio. He got together with a number of young design gurus with experience at Lotus (both companies owned by GM at the time) and they promptly gave the Isuzu some proper, go-fast Lotus DNA.

Mounted midship was a 4.2-liter, 32-valve V8 engine capable of 350 horsepower, which in its day was quite remarkable. More remarkable still, it put that power to terra firma through a five-speed manual gearbox, four-wheel drive system, and rode atop a high-tech Lotus tuned suspension. Inside, the 4200R revealed a few hot gadgets from 1989, including a fax machine, which curiously never caught on in production cars.

isuzu 4200r concept gt5 rearview photo

Though a hit with fans, the times were a changing and ’90s car buyers proved to be SUV crazed. Isuzu saw greener pastures with its Trooper and Rodeo sport utes.

 Luckily one wildly styled concept-turned-production car did emerge in the US market – the VehiCross.