Mazda’s next-generation BT-50 pickup may be smaller but it will be 'manly'

Article by Christian A., on November 1, 2017

By studying today’s trend, one would notice that crossovers and small pickup trucks are what most people are looking for, and to step up its game, Mazda decided that they would develop a new version of their longstanding BT-50 pickup. According to the automaker, the next generation pickup will still share the same platform as that of the Isuzu D-Max, just like its outgoing model. But even though it has the same mechanics as the Isuzu, the design will entirely be unique to Mazda.

In an interview between WheelsMag and Ikuo Maeda, Managing Executive Officer and Head of Design, the latter confirmed that a new BT-50 is being developed. He also said that they will face a challenge by converting the Mazda’s current design direction to a much smaller pickup truck.

Speaking of the design, Mazda said that their goal for the next generation pickup is to create a beautiful form that has tougher elements to give it some masculinity as well - after saying that it will be a tough job. Also, he mentioned that the pickup will get inspiration from the Vision Coupe and the Kai concept, both of which appeared at the recent Tokyo Motor Show a week ago.

Furthermore, Mazda will not have a lot of say when it comes to the engineering of the future BT-50. As the Isuzu D-Max takes the spot of the Ford Ranger as the BT-50’s organ donor. Isuzu will also be the one to set all the hard points of the Mazda-designed cabin, and the exterior body that will sit on it.

As mentioned earlier, it will purely be a Mazda when it comes to the branding and the design, despite the fact that all of its underpinnings will be borrowed from Isuzu. Also, it will be the first Mazda vehicle that will not be equipped with their SkyActive platform or make use of any sort of SkyActiv powertrain. Ichiro Hirose, Executive Officer in Charge of Powertrain Development then said that the new Mazda pickup will not be utilizing the company’s new triple turbo diesel engine.

Do not get too excited though, as the Japanese pickup may not even hit the United States anytime soon. As we know, the current BT-50 is limited to markets outside of the US exclusively, and has been around for almost a decade. Also, with its underpinnings, it seems like this model will remain as a light work truck for the Asian and the Australian markets.

Currently, the Ford Ranger outsells the BT-50 in the 4x4 pickup category, and this could be because the former has a more aggressive and more masculine styling. It’s likely why Mazda is aiming to do the same.

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