Mazda is in the final stages of developing a new version of the Mazda BT-50. Unlike the previous version whereby the automaker partnered with Ford who was producing the Ford Ranger, the automaker this time round is collaborating with Isuzu. In the collaboration with Ford, the latter took up a majority of the engineering part but this time round Mazda wants to be more engaged in the development of the truck. Among the changes Mazda is looking to make is to add a powerful engine as well as hook it up with a more modern exterior design. Here’s what we managed to find out about the 2018 Mazda BT-50 at this moment.
2018 Mazda BT-50 Exterior
Not much is known about the BT-50’s exterior styling as of this writing; however, we do not expect significant changes. The truck is set to carry over with its grille as well as the bumper which was upgraded last year. The headlights, however, will likely be upgraded. Rumor has it that the hood will get more attractive creases. There are also rumors for enlarged fenders. At the rear, the tailgate and the taillights will likely be modified. The Mazda BT-50 pickup trucks will likely ride on 16-inch alloy wheels as standard with an option for 17-inch wheels.
The models will however likely get new underpinnings to help improve ride comfort as well has to handle; this is the area Mazda wants to focus most of its efforts for the new model.
The pickup truck should get a more refined cabin. The cabin will be offered in three cab styles as well as short and extended bed lengths. I expect upholstery materials to improve with higher trims having leather upholstery and an option for heated front seats. The dash will also likely get a facelift including a new center stack. The model may also get a new infotainment system featuring a higher resolution screen. The new infotainment system will also offer Smartphone integration and may be a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Safety features will also be improved and will include blind-spot detection, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning among others.
Engine and performance
Mazda has not announced the lineup of engines they plan to hook up the BT-50 pickup truck with. All the automaker has said is that the model will have more power. Rumor has it that the current lineup of engines will be retained but tweaked to produce more power. However, other rumors allege that the automaker will offer a new, more powerful engine. Currently, the model is powered by a 2.0 L, turbo-diesel mill good for 147 hp and 276 lb-ft of torque. This is the base mill. For more power, there is a 3.2 L, 5-cylinder also turbo-diesel mill that produces 197 hp and 346lb-ft of torque. Both mills mate to a 6-speed automatic gearbox or a 6-speed manual transmission.
The pickup truck can be had either in front-wheel drive or all-wheel-drive. When it is well equipped the more powerful mill enables the model to carry up to 1,389 kg and tow up to 3,500 kg. We will update you when we get more information about the Mazda BT-50 new drive-trains.
Price and release date
There is no word yet from Mazda about when we can expect the pickup truck to hit dealerships but rumors allege that the model will make a public debut in early 2018 with sales commencing during the second or third quarter of 2018. Prices will be announced close to the model’s release date.