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.
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.