Isuzu Forward – Wikipedia

Line of medium-duty commercial vehicles manufactured by Isuzu

Motor vehicle

Isuzu Forward
Isuzu Plaza Isuzu Forward TKG-FRR.jpg
Manufacturer Isuzu
Also called
  • Isuzu F-Series
  • Chevrolet/GMC T-Series (United States; 1997–2009)
  • Isuzu Borneo/Giga (Indonesia)
  • Isuzu Heavy Duty
  • Isuzu J-Series Rocky Deca (Thailand)
  • Bedford-Isuzu
  • Bedford MN
  • Chevrolet F-Series (Latin America)
  • Isuzu Tora (Turkey).
  • Mitsubishi Fuso Fighter (1983-2017)
  • UD Condor (2017–present)
Production 1966–present
Class Medium duty truck
Body style
  • 2-door standard cab (Worldwide)
  • 4-door crew cab (Australia only)
Platform HINO KM(China) Mitsubishi Fuso Fighter (1983-2017)
Engine 6BB1, 6BD1, 6BD1T, 6BG1, 6BG1T, 6HH1, 6SD1, 6HK1, 6D16, 6D14, ,6D15,6D17, 6D32, 6M60, 6M61, 4D31, 4HK1, 6NX1-TCS VGS Turbo
  • 5-speed manual
  • 6-speed manual
  • 4-speed automatic
  • 6-speed automatic
  • 10-speed automatic
Predecessor Isuzu TY/Isuzu TX/TXD
Bedford TL

The Isuzu Forward (Japanese: いすゞ・フォワード, Isuzu Fowādo) (also known as the Isuzu F-Series) is a line of medium-duty commercial vehicles manufactured by Isuzu since 1970, following the earlier TY model which occupied the same slot in the market. All F-series trucks are cab over designs and the cabin comes fully built from the factory. Most models come with a diesel engine; but, some markets get CNG derivatives as well. The F-series is available a variety of cab styles, engines, 4WD or 2WD depending on the market it is sold. Most trucks are assembled in Japan; however, they are locally assembled from CKD kits in some countries.

Most mid-size and big-size models of the truck are distinguishable by a front ‘Forward’ badge; but the common Isuzu badge is usually used on the rear. Confusingly, the smaller Isuzu Elf has been sold as the “GMC Forward” in the United States and other markets.[2]

The Isuzu Forward is among the commercial grade trucks used by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force for rear line duties.

Isuzu TY (predecessor)[edit]

Isuzu released the 4-tonne (8,800 lb) TY-series in May 1966. This semi-cabover design was Isuzu’s first medium-duty truck. The original engine fitted was the D370, a 3.6 L (3,644 cc) inline-six diesel engine with 100 PS (74 kW). The types were TY20, TY30, and TY40 depending on the length of the chassis. The first engine was later changed to the 4.0 L (3,988 cc) D400 engine with 102 PS (75 kW), accompanied by a change in model codes to TY21/31/41.[3] In August 1967 two 3.5-tonne (7,700 lb) models, TY31(S) and TY41(S), were added. There was also an extra long wheelbase model (available with an extended cab) called the TY51. The TY range received a light facelift in March 1968, including a redesigned grille.

First generation (1970)[edit]

The first generation Forward (TR) was launched in April 1970, replacing the original TY-series. All of the original models came equipped with Isuzu’s D500 diesel engine, a 5.0 L (4,978 cc) inline-six with 125 PS (92 kW). In July 1971 this engine was upgraded to produce 130 PS (96 kW). In September 1972 the Forward received a facelift and a new model code (SBR). The D500 engine was largely replaced with the new 5.4 L (5,393 cc) 6BB1 direct injection inline-six producing 145 PS (107 kW). Only certain lighter duty versions, such as the fire truck, retained the smaller D500 engine.[4] The glowplug equipped 6BB1 had the smallest displacement per cylinder of any direct injection diesel engine in the world at the time and went on to power a large number of the Forward, the Elf, and many other Isuzu vehicles for the coming decades.[5]

A variety of weight ranges, bodies, and types were on offer, including a tractor unit and dumpers, on wheelbases ranging from 3.2 to 5.6 m (10 to 18 ft).[6] While most of the first generation Forward range was replaced in August 1975, the lighter short cab versions continued in production as the “Forward S” until 1986.

Second generation (SBR/JBR/FBR) (1975)[edit]

Second Generation Isuzu Forward JCR500S (1982)

The Second Generation Forward (SBR-series) was released in August 1975. The original range could carry between 4 and 4.5 tonnes (8,800 and 9,900 lb) and was powered by the same Isuzu 6BB1 diesel engine that had been used in the original Forward, a 5.4 L (5,393 cc) diesel inline-six with 145 PS (107 kW).[7] The SBR was later complemented with new heavier-duty versions (J- and F-series) equipped with the larger 6BD1, 6BD1T, and 6BF1 engines.

  • JBR/JCR/JDR (6-7t)
  • FTM (10t)



Third generation (FTR/FVR/FSR/FRR/FVZ) (1985)[edit]

Third Generation Forward with crane

The third generation Forward was launched in June 1985 as the successor to the first and second generation forwards, the design is based on the 810’s cab design and it was the first truck to win the Good Design Award.

The FTR, FVR, FSR and FRR are all equipped with naturally aspirated and turbocharged Isuzu 6BG1 and 6HE1 engines mated to the six-speed manual or NAVi6 six-speed automatic gearbox with an optional ABS. A 1992-1994 Isuzu Forward truck appears in a scene of Studio Ghibli’s 1994 animated movie Pom Poko.[8]

Fourth generation (1994)[edit]

Fourth Generation Forward with flatbed

The fourth generation Forward was released in February 1994 with all SOHC engines starting with the naturally aspirated or turbocharged 6HE1 until 1999 and replaced with the new 8.2 litre 6HH1 and 7.8 litre 6HK1-TC engines mated to the six-speed manual or Isuzu’s ‘Smoother F’ automatic gearbox, with Power Shift and HSA are standard equipment, only the ABS/ASR are optional.

For the Chilean and Peruvian markets, the trucks were shipped from Japan as CKD kits to Huechuraba, Chile, where up to two a day could be assembled by a team of 13 workers. They were badged as Chevrolets and GMCs until 2009.


  • FTR (8 t)
  • FRR (4 t)
  • FSR (5 t, 6.5 t, 7 t)
  • FVR (9 t)
  • FVZ (10 t)
  • FRD (4 t)
  • FSD (5 t, 7 t)

Fifth generation (2007)[edit]

Fifth Generation forward with Tadano Crane

The fifth generation Forward was launched in May 2007; all models are equipped with Isuzu 4H/6H engines. A new 6×6 variant was exhibited at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show in 2013.

In North America, it was introduced in 2016 for the 2018 model year.

Current lineup[edit]

Isuzu FVZ 34P fire engine (Indonesia)


  • FRR
  • FSR
  • FTR
  • FVR
  • FVM
  • FVZ
  • FSS
  • FTS
  • GSR
  • GVR


Isuzu FVR 1000 (Australia)

Isuzu is the market leader in Australia and makes unique models to that market. It includes Crew cabs of popular models with options like 4X4 and PTO. Australia also receives slightly larger versions codenamed FX-series.

  • FRD
  • FSR
  • FSD
  • FTR
  • FVR
  • FVD
  • FVM
  • FVL
  • FVZ
  • GVD
  • FSS
  • FTS
  • FXR
  • FXD
  • FXZ
  • FXY
  • FXL
  • GXD

Bedford models[edit]

For some markets like Spain and Portugal, the Isuzu Forward was re-badged as the Bedford-Isuzu, since the Bedford brand was more well known there. This was offered as a replacement for the Bedford TL truck. After 1998, the Bedford name was dropped, and all trucks were re-badged as Isuzu models.

Some models were re-badged as the Bedford MN. In these countries, the slightly lighter Isuzu Elf was also badged as the Bedford NKR and the Bedford KA50 trucks. These trucks were also exported to Australia, where the Bedford badge was used on almost all Isuzu trucks exported to the country since the 1970s.

These Bedford trucks were not marketed in the United Kingdom after the 1980s, since by that time the heavy-duty truck division of Bedford had been merged into AWD Trucks and was not owned by General Motors, and the light van factories in Luton, that were re-organized as a joint venture with Isuzu, were not high enough to accommodate the production of such a truck.

Currently the Isuzu Forward is built in the United Kingdom in a new facility built by Isuzu, alongside the Isuzu Elf that is marketed under the Grafter name.

It competes with trucks such as the DAF LF, and the Ford Cargo truck.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ “Pabrik Mobil Isuzu di Karawang Rp 1,7 Triliun Resmi Beroperasi” [1.7 trillion Isuzu car factory in Karawang is officially in operation]. Detik Finance (in Indonesian). detikcom. 2015-04-07. Archived from the original on 2020-08-09.
  2. ^ “New Medium Duty Truck From GMC”. Go-West. Trucking Activities, Inc. 1984. p. 135.
  3. ^ 自動車ガイドブック 1968年~69年新 [Japanese motor vehicles guide book 1968/1969] (in Japanese), vol. 15, Japan: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, 1968-10-25, p. 197
  4. ^ 自動車ガイドブック: Japanese motor vehicles guide book 1972—73 (in Japanese), vol. 19, Japan: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, 1972-10-23, p. 278
  5. ^ “Diesel engines: 6BB1”. 330 Landmarks of Japanese Automotive Technology. Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan (JSAE). Archived from the original on 2020-03-14.
  6. ^ 自動車ガイドブック: Japanese motor vehicles guide book 1973/1974 (in Japanese), vol. 20, Japan: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, 1973-10-30, pp. 240–267, passim
  7. ^ 自動車ガイドブック [Automobile Guide Book 1975~76] (in Japanese), vol. 22, Japan: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, 1975-10-31, pp. 221–223, 0602-509072-2228
  8. ^ “1992 Isuzu Forward in ‘Heisei tanuki gassen pompoko’, 1994”. IMCDB.

External links[edit]