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Made for Africa: Isuzu’s exclusive tribute to the Serengeti plains

Made for Africa: Isuzu’s exclusive tribute to the Serengeti plains

Inrecent years, local bakkie importers have started rolling-out a selection of special or limited edition models, which remain unchanged mechanically, but feature a range of unique or otherwise optional cosmetic enhancements to make them truly exclusive.

It might be the country’s third best-selling one-tonner, but there is little doubt that the Isuzu KB has partially been responsible for this trend of uniquely styled bakkies.

With a proud heritage stretching from the Blazer, Reef and Frontier in the 1990’s, to the Millennium, Series 21, 72 and the recent Midnight, the KB has effectively been setting the trend before it officially became recognised.

Having had my fair share of KB experiences over the past three years, which ranged from a workhorse spec Fleetside to recently spending a week with the range-topping LX Double Cab 4x4, I was taken completely off-guard when Isuzu announced the availability of another limited run model with a name that a) I never expected to feature on a car and b) an appearance that left me exclaiming wows for several minutes.

Based only on the latter model, with the option of rear-or-four-wheel drive as well as five-speed manual or similar ratio, automatic transmission, the Serengeti is very much a standard KB underneath but frankly, you wouldn’t think it when seeing it up close.

Compared to the LX, the Serengeti’s range of unique add-ons includes a black plastic moulded bumper guard with a satin silver skidplate, chrome door handles, mirrors and rollbar, satin silver roof rails and sidesteps, 18-inch all-terrain alloy wheels and special decals at the base of the front doors and on the tailgate.

Having waxed lyrical about the LX’s styling in my previous write-up, there is no doubt that the Serengeti “pack” has turned the KB from an already imposing bakkie to a mean-looking “get-out-of-my-way” bundu crusher.

While it might appear brash on the outside, the Serengeti is standard Isuzu on the inside with the only big changes being the addition of a black leather interior, silver skidplates and Serengeti badged floormats. As noted with the LX, the interior plastics have an unashamedly rugged feel and fits in rather well with the KB’s newfound identity.

In addition to the myriad of storage space, the Serengeti’s range of standard kit is similar to that of the LX and includes a six-speaker sound system with Bluetooth, USB and Aux input, electric windows all around, cruise control, rear parking sensors, auto lock/unlock doors, electric driver’s seat, six airbags as well as ABS with EBD and BAS.

Unfortunately, a variety of factors sadly prevented me from taking the Serengeti for a drive, but having experienced the 3.0-litre D-TEQ engine before, the result would have been pretty much the same with a possible exception being a slightly firmer ride due to the tyres.

Likewise, taking it to the ahem… Serengeti would be no challenge either, for the 4WD anyway, as I got a taste of the regular KB’s off-road prowess during General Motors’ More Than a Test Drive track/off-road day, earlier this year.

Although some might find it hard to justify a limited edition vehicle that remains fundamentally unchanged from the standard model, there is no escaping the appeal such a model holds. Combine this with a track record that is as extensive as its ability to conquer the area it now lborrows its name from, then there is simply no denying that the Isuzu KB Serengeti has taken exclusivity to another level.

To book a test drive, visit Williams Hunt William Moffett, corner of Knight Street and the William Moffett Expressway, or contact them on 041 396 4600.