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EarthCruiser Transitions to the Isuzu NPR Series Class 4 Platform

EarthCruiser Overland Vehicles recently announced that its next generation of EXP and FX EarthCruiser models and CORE brand vehicles would transition to the Isuzu NPR Series Class 4 platform. These iconic overland models have earned a reputation for providing the ultimate in self-contained, off-road world exploration vehicles. With this new platform, EarthCruiser continues its success story by combining the proven performance of the Isuzu NPR chassis with EarthCruiser’s proprietary 4×4 drivetrain and unique upgrades to create the most agile, capable vehicle in its class.


  • Next-generation platform for EarthCruiser EXP, FX, and CORE models transitions to Isuzu NPR Series chassis paired with EarthCruiser’s proprietary 4×4 system
  • EarthCruiser offers the only cab-over 4×4 production vehicle in its class in the US.
  • Existing Fuso chassis EarthCruiser vehicles will continue to be supported by Fuso’s parts, service, and support center network operations.


The Isuzu NPR chassis underpinning new EXP, FX, and CORE models offer an ideal size footprint with proven performance and dependability. EarthCruiser modifies this Isuzu platform for off-road use and applies its overlanding and engineering expertise.

“We look forward to this new chapter as we make the transition to Isuzu platforms for our 4×4 world-exploration vehicles,” said EarthCruiser General Manager Chad Knight. “Isuzu’s reputation for reliability and serviceability make it a great partner for our next-generation chassis. We’ve also found a great fit in Isuzu thanks to its shared commitment to domestically produced vehicles.”

The Isuzu NPR chassis is assembled in Janesville, Wisconsin. The Isuzu NPR HD platform also benefits from an American-sourced power plant: a 6.6L, 350-horsepower, 425 pound-feet V8 engine produced by General Motors for use in heavy-duty pickup trucks.


In addition to packaging benefits, a cab-over platform also aids in overlanding and off-road drivability. The cab-over position offers unmatched visibility, critical in complex off-road situations, along with remarkable maneuverability. A cab-over design also enables the shortest possible vehicle with the largest possible living or cargo space. In addition, the completed EarthCruiser has a remarkably tight turning radius (36-inch inside diameter), roughly the same as a midsize pickup truck.

EarthCruiser’s Proprietary Four-wheel-drive System

EarthCruiser’s bespoke 4×4 system meets the unique demands of off-road exploration. The proprietary EarthCruiser four-wheel-drive system is key in transforming the Isuzu chassis into a unique go-anywhere 4WD expedition vehicle. Practicality, durability, and serviceability drive every EarthCruiser design, including the 4×4 system, designed with widely available off-the-shelf components.


“Our proprietary 4-wheel-drive system is constantly being put to the test by our team, and it continues to impress in a variety of conditions,”

said EarthCruiser Engineering Development Manager Austin Steimer.

“The NPR’s 6.6L 6L90 GM powertrain is a great fit with EarthCruiser’s custom gearing, delivering strong low-end torque on the trail while maintaining efficient highway performance.”

Transforming a two-wheel-drive chassis into an innovative 4WD exploration vehicle was no easy feat—especially without altering its powertrain. EarthCruiser effectively strips the stock chassis and replaces the entire suspension and driveline with its distinct design, including an Atlas transfer case and custom Fusion axles fitted with Auburn electronically locking differentials. The result is a rugged 4WD system that does not compromise the vehicle’s EPA certification. Each EarthCruiser vehicle is also certified to meet and comply with stringent FMVSS and DOT standards.


EarthCruiser remains committed to supporting its Fuso-chassis models alongside the new Isuzu-chassis models, backed by an international network of service and support centers.


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Graeme Bell is an author and explorer who has dedicated his life to traveling the planet by land, seeking adventure and unique experiences. Together with his wife and two children, Graeme has spent the last decade living permanently on the road in a self-built Land Rover based camper. They have explored 27 African countries (including West Africa), circumnavigated South America, and driven from Argentina to Alaska, which was followed by an exploration of Europe and Western Asia before returning to explore the Americas. Graeme is the Senior Editor 4WD for Expedition Portal, a member of the Explorers Club, the author of six books, and an Overland Journal contributor since 2015. You can follow Graeme's adventures across the globe on Instagram at graeme.r.bell