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Sunday, June 12, 2022

Isuzu super pickup powered by Formula 1-spec engine

Weird ONES Isuzu Motor Limited or Isuzu is a Japanese automotive company whose products are currently mostly concentrated on commercial vehicles. Well, who would have thought if the Japanese car manufacturer had ever tried to make an unusual car concept powered by a Formula 1 racing engine named Isuzu Como F1 Concept shortly after the car manufacturer thrown away its dream to be famous in the racing world.
The Isuzu Como F1 Concept was deliberately created by Isuzu as a car show to support the company's marketing strategy for the commercial vehicles it produces. (Picture from: CarThrottle)
How can it be? As quoted of CarThrottle, back in the 1990s, Isuzu, one of the world's famous Japanese manufacturers had intention to participate the racing world. To smooth out its intention, the Japanese manufacturer then held a secret project to develop a V12 3,500 cc petrol racing engine codenamed P799WE capable of pouring out a maximum power of about 640 hp at 12,500 rpm.
Though this car is in the style of a pickup, the design that is imprinted on its exterior and engine it used makes it worthy of the title as a supercar too. (Picture from: CarThrottle)
Indeed, not many people know that Isuzu, better known for its diesel engine, actually had ever made a Formula 1 racing engine. At the time, the machine was developed by four mysterious engineers whose identities are still unknown until today. In short, due to this Japanese car company does not have any single racing car, so when the engine is finished they felt a little confused, where to install it. 
This is a 3.5 liter, Formula One-spec V12 engine called the P799WE developed by Isuzu back in the 1990s. (Picture from: CarThrottle)
Coincidentally at that time Lotus, a Formula 1 racing team was facing a problem with its Lotus 102B racing car related to the engine weight (at that time it was still using a Lamborghini-made V12 engine). And Isuzu saw this as an opportunity for its newly developed engine to enter the Formula 1 racing world.
Apparently at that time the goddess of luck was clearly overshadowing the Japanese manufacturer, because Isuzu and the Lotus were under the same parent company, namely General Motors (GM). Not long after Isuzu contacted GM, so they decided that the Japanese company could install its newly developed engine in the engine weight troubled race car of Lotus.
One of the Lotus 102 racing cars like this was tested at the Silverstone Circuit, England by using the Isuzu P799WE engine. (Picture from: Pinterest)
However, because the Isuzu P799WE engine is very different from the previous engine. After being tricked, such as by adding an 80 kg alternator, finally the Isuzu P799WE engine can be installed into space previously filled by the larger Lamborghini engine. It seems just installed casually to the Lotus 102B chassis, and the car was later given name of the Lotus 102C.
The Isuzu Como F1 Concept measures approximately 4,600 mm in length, 1,830 mm in width, 1,370 mm in height and a wheelbase of around 2,950 mm. (Picture from: CarThatNeverMadeItEtc)
It is true, success comes from a well-planned work process, not casually work. It seems that this also applies to the Lotus 102C race car, when tested at the Silverstone Circuit, England its record time was not good enough (perhaps because the engine was just installed casually). Nevertheless the Isuzu P799WE engine still has the opportunity to develop even better because it considered more lighter in weight and has a better sound than the Lamborghini engine previously used.
The Isuzu Como F1 Concept looks like an ordinary two-seater supercar from the 1990s, unfortunately there's no info about its performance. (Picture from: CarStyling.ru)
But fate said otherwise, Isuzu's participation in the world of Formula 1 racing never actually happened because at that time Japan was experiencing complicated economic problems that required Isuzu to rethink and choose whether to continue the racing project or to be more focus on commercial cars production. After careful consideration, then the Japanese automaker decided to cease its racing project to be focus to more profitable commecial car production.😉
The Isuzu Como F1 Concept was shown for the first time in public at the 29th Tokyo Motor Show 1991. (Picture from: AllCarIndex)
Then what is the fate of the newly developed Isuzu P799WE engine? Indeed, the Japanese automaker is not thrown it away or just left it idle. Well, after being removed from the Lotus racing car chassis, the mentioned Formula One engine had installed in a futuristic design super-pickup concept called the Isuzu Como F1 Concept, which is began to be built in the 1991.
Interior view of the Isuzu Como F1 concept when it sat on display at the 29th Tokyo Motor Show 1991. (Picture from: GTPlanet.net)
Creating supercar concept is nothing new for Isuzu because previously this Japanese automaker in collaboration with Lotus had ever made a supercar called the Isuzu 420R in 1989. In appearance, even though this car is in the style of a pickup, the design that is imprinted on its exterior makes it worthy of the title as a supercar too, especially coupled with the use of an Formula 1 engine mounted in the middle, and the embedding of scissor doors such as usually installed on the Lamborghini car models. This unique car measures approximately 4,600 mm in length, 1,830 mm in width, 1,370 mm in height and a wheelbase of around 2,950 mm.
The Isuzu Como F1 Concept existences was really a testament to Isuzu’s untapped potential as a carmaker. (Picture from: CarThrottle)
Unfortunately there are no official performance figures related to this Isuzu super-pickup concept after being embedded with the P799WE engine, for your info, this is the only one Isuzu made car used a mid-mounted engine. It seems that the super-pickup concept was deliberately created as a car show to support the company's marketing strategy for the commercial vehicles it produces. And the Isuzu Como F1 Concept was shown for the first time in public at the 29th Tokyo Motor Show 1991.😎

Although we will never find the existence of the production version, because the Japanese automaker never produced it commercially, and many people might be thought that a pickup powered by a Formula One-spec V12 engine is a completely ridiculous and crazy idea. Nevertheless the Isuzu Como F1 was one of the coolest concept cars of the 1990s and also really a testament to the potential that Isuzu has as an automaker. Unfortunately, the existence of the Isuzu Como F1 after the exhibition has never been known whether it still exists or not.😢
But for those of you who are still curious about the existence of the Isuzu P799WE engine. It still exists today, and is stored at Tamiya's headquarters, not at Isuzu's HQ. How come? Because in the past, Tamiya was the major sponsor of the Lotus F1 racing team, so that's why those Lotus 102C's engine was stored at its headquarters.😌 *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | CARTHROTTLE | 24HOURSOFLEMONS | GTPLANET.NET | ALLCARINDEX | CARSTYLING.RU ]
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