October 19, 2001 – Making it's debut at the Tokyo Motor Show, the Isuzu Zen is a new type of vehicle which makes the link between ISUZU SUV and ISUZU commercial vehicles. It is a combination of a 4x4 passenger vehicle and the utility of a light commercial van.
At the heart of the concept is space and freedom. The interior allows for great freedom of use, this is a vehicle which allows you to do what you want. The key words for the Isuzu design team were 'anything, anywhere, anytime and anyone'.
ANYTHING - Modern life requires us to transport many objects, the vast interior adapts to carry anything you need to transport.
ANYTIME - The vehicle is still serving a purpose even when not being driven. It is an extra room to your house which may be used in many ways, as a storage room, as an office, as a lounge or even as a bedroom.
ANYWHERE - The vehicle combines massive load carrying with 4x4 ability to transport you and your equipment whatever it may be, anywhere.
ANYBODY - The vehicle has qualities which appeal to a wide range of people of all ages & situations.
Inspiration for the exterior design is from both industrial architecture and Japanese culture. The exterior volume expresses the flowing volume of the passenger space joined to the box like utility of the loadspace. The side graphics and sliding side windows are derived from an Ogi, a Japanese fan. A sliding vertical panel in the tailgate recalls a yukimi shoji allowing easy loading in tight parking places.
The space efficiency and purity of a Japanese room has been translated to the interior. In a single movement the rear seats may be folded away into the floor, them the front seats folded onto the dashboard to produce a space similar in size to that of a Japanese tea room. Mats, one side tatami, the other a resistant material, can fully cover the floor for either room mode or to transport material.
The Isuzu Zen concept has been conceived & designed by the design team at Isuzu Motors Europe, England, which also created the Isuzu Kai concept, shown at the 2000 Detroit Auto Show.
The Zen design team included Senior Manager Atsuhiko Yamada, Chief Designer Geoff Gardiner, and Senior Designer Ian Nisbett.