Motoring guru Chris Nixon discusses Isuzu’s D-Max one-tonner and Citroen’s Picasso approach…

D-MAX GETS DA MAX TREATMENT

Isuzu, known for its sturdy work utes, has launched a version of the D-Max one-tonner that’s dressed up for weekend warriors.

Only 600 examples of the Thai-built X-Runner 4WD are available, priced from $46,490 drive-away with manual transmission (auto is optional).

The ute comes only in white or black metallic paint and is tricked-up with different alloy wheels, side steps, body kit, a black sports bar, tub liner and redaccented interior.

Since it arrived five years ago Isuzu Ute Australia – the only national vehicle importer based in Brisbane – had been a one-product company until they added the MU-X 4WD wagon last year.

Yet it plans to find more than 14,000 new owners this year, attracted by the 3.0 litre diesel D-Max’s reliability, quality and value in a highly competitive market segment.

Other incentives are 5-Star crash protection and five years’ warranty and roadside emergency assistance, which make it popular with grey nomads.

GOT A WORLD CHAMPION CAR?

Hold your breath if you’ve bought a Mazda3, Audi A3 or BMW 4 Series recently – your good taste may be about to earn the ultimate endorsement.

The three are finalists for the World Car of the Year award to be announced in New York on 17 April.

MOTORING WORKS OF ART

When Citroen named a people mover the Picasso, we only thought it was a little bit edgy. But recent Geneva Auto Salon visitors saw the absurdly named Bugatti Rembrandt and Gumpert Explosion.

The Rembrandt is named not after the Dutch master, but the son of Bugatti founder Ettore. At $4.3 million, it’s certainly an automotive work of art.

The Gumpert Explosion? We daren’t speculate how it got its name. We should mark the last Holden with a truly Aussie moniker. Commodore Drysale?