Mazda has been keeping up with the Asian market’s demand in terms of durability and yet economic ride by introducing its all-new BT-50 pickup truck.
The new BT-50, planned to hit the market before the end of this year has completely redesigned inside and out and has totally different engines, platform and bodywork.
The main reason for that is Mazda’s new partnership with Isuzu. Rather than being developed and made alongside the Ford Ranger, the new BT-50 is now a by-product of the D-Max.
The 3,125mm wheelbase is the same, but the BT-50 is slightly longer and shorter in height than the D-Max. Isuzu will handle production for the BT-50 at its Samut Prakan facility in Thailand with Australia being the first market to get it in the second half of this year.
The initial diesel-turbo engine announced is the 190hp 3.0-litre four-cylinder mated to six-speed auto. Aside this 3.0-litre, Isuzu has a smaller 1.9-litre producing 150hp which should also prove more frugal than 160hp 2.2-litre of the previous BT50 (and today’s Ranger).
In fact, Isuzu has a reputation of fuel good economy and Mazda could make good use of that in sales promotion. The downside is compromised performance, as evidenced in the D-Max.
Other attributes Mazda may use in promoting the BT-50 is clean exterior and interior design with some sense of premium when compared to others.
Thailand can expect the debut of the new BT-50 to roll out at the year’s end with prices similar to their rivals.
Original writer: Richard Leu
Source: Bangkok Post