Manufacturers are often faced with tradeoffs when it comes to designing engines. People want power, efficiency, and refinement, but that’s hard to manage if you’re dealing with limited resources.
Isuzu, however, has a different approach and branding for their engines. The brand’s diesel engines in particular are quite good when it comes to fuel efficiency and are quite fair in terms of power. While they might not be spec-sheet heroes, they return great performance and legendary Isuzu reliability.
What is Blue Power?
Blue Power engines have been out for quite some time now, however, what is it exactly? According to Isuzu, their newer crop of engines has been developed over four years of testing and development. Upon its release, it was—and still is—EURO 4-compliant. Nowadays, you can find that all Isuzu engines, from the mu-X, D-max, and even the Traviz, all sport Blue Power engines.
Essentially, Blue Power engines feature less internal resistance and better components over prior motors that help along with fuel efficiency and power. The technical jargon as to how Isuzu executed this is a bit on the complicated side of things, the results speak for themselves. We were able to test out the larger of the two engines with Blue Power technology, and we’re happy to report that Isuzu’s 3.0 motor got up to 8.8 km/L in the heat of Metro Manila, and up to 16.5km/L in the open air of the highway with a less than behaved right foot.
At least the RZ4E, which also happens to be the newest engine in Isuzu’s lineup, features diamond-like coated (DLC) piston pins, coupled with a clothoid curve combustion chamber, a fracture-split design connecting rod, and DLC fuel injector needles. All of these components make sure that the components inside the engine have as little friction between them as possible. This effectively increases fuel efficiency and decreases exhaust emissions. Practically speaking, the engine won’t vibrate as much and you also get a good amount of smoothness from the motor.
Enhanced turbo power
The turbocharger in the Blue Power engines is water-cooled which increases longevity, and variable geometry turbos ensure excellent throttle response even at lower RPMs. Similar to the concept of variable valve timing, a variable geometry turbo ensures that the right amount of air is being delivered to the engine at any RPM. Isuzu even stated that they could have turned the engine to produce more power, however at the cost of decreased fuel efficiency, and increased engine vibrations. According to Isuzu, they were able to create and tune the engine with what they think is the perfect balance of performance, efficiency, and reliability.
Isuzu hasn’t rested on its reputation for durable vehicles. In fact, the Japanese brand has further enhanced its engine’s durability with its Blue Power technology. At least on the RZ4E engine, it features a Hydraulic Valve Lash Adjuster (HVLA) which ensures the correct clearance for valve lash. The motor also features only one engine accessory belt.
Another key piece of equipment that the engine has been designed with is the steel timing chain. Gone are the days where cars would use rubber belts to keep their camshafts in sync. Instead, Isuzu has opted for a timing chain that won't skip a beat and will cost less to maintain over a long period of time.
The turbocharger also features a water-cooling system and is made from a more heat resistant material compared to prior iterations. Less heat retained means better longevity, and Isuzu claims that the Blue Power turbochargers are better than the prior versions they replace.
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