Mazda Australia has released a new souped up version of its little pickup, the BT-50. This new version is called the BT-50 Thunder and is only for the Australian market for now, with no word on export markets yet. I guess you could say that this is truly the thunder from down under.
OK. Sorry. I was trying my best to not make that pun, but life is too short to not reference “Down Under” when you can. And, also, it’s possible that this new edition of the BT-50 rocks even harder than Men At Work. Look at this cute Ute!
The BT-50 Thunder is not radically different than other models at lower trims, but that’s a good thing given how cool the BT-50 is in the first place. The Thunder is a dual cab 4X4 BT-50 with the following accessories: steel bumper, LED light bar, fender flares, step bars, 18" wheels, an electric bed cover and big rollover bars
The interior is in a brown leather finish and you get the highest tech package available for the BT-50. The Thunder model starts at $65,990 AUD, or just over $50,000 USD. That’s about a $12,000 AUD, $9,000 USD, markup over the lowest Dual Cab 4X4 you can buy from Mazda. But considering it’s the highest model trim available, it’s not the biggest markup I’ve seen.
Recall that this Mazda pickup is based on the Isuzu D-Max, but Mazda’s take makes for a handsome little Ute. If you had asked me how Mazda’s current design language would look on a pickup, I would never have guessed it would work this well.
The BT-50 is one of the best-looking small trucks I’ve seen in a while, and lucky drivers in the Australian market have quite a bit of trim choices. They range from commercial to base models with or without 4x4. Now, the Thunder tops the BT-50 range.
All of the BT-50 models are powered by the same 3.0 liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine, which makes about 188 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. The BT-50 is a good-looking modern truck that still comes in manual. It’s no V6 Amarok, but it’s cool nonetheless.
Even though Mazda had already offered a pretty extensive catalog of accessories for the BT-50 in Australia, the Thunder is a kind of one-stop shop that’s got the what off-roaders would have bought from the aftermarket. It’s a slight upsell, but it’s a pretty gnarly truck. You can see an early review of it here, from Oz’s Car Expert channel.