Mazda just revealed its new Isuzu D-Max-based pickup truck, and it looks awesome. It’s called the Mazda BT-50, and it proves that Mazda’s corporate face looks good on any type of automobile.
The sad news is that the sweet new truck, restyled for the first time since 2015 and fully redesigned for the first time since 2011, is likely going to be sold only in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, various parts of southeast Asia, and Oceana—as has been the case for the BT-50 since the first-gen launched for 2006.
Unlike the two prior generations of BT-50s, the new truck will not get Ford Ranger underpinnings, but rather hardware from the Isuzu D-Max. That includes not just the platform, but the powertrain and drivetrain.
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Max output from the 3.0-liter turbodiesel is 187 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. Per Motor1, transmission options include a six-speed manual or six-speed auto, which send power to the rear or all four wheels.
“A less powerful and smaller engine is expected to be added to the engine options for lower trims before it goes on sale in Australia towards the end of this year,” Motor1 writes.
That interior, with the elegant corporate Mazda steering wheel, and clean seat and dash design, looks pretty decent. Between it, the aggressive front fascia, the decent D-Max-ish rear end, the diesel engine option, and the manual transmission, the BT-50 looks like a damn compelling truck.
Same thing goes for the Isuzu D-Max on which it’s based. Just look at this modern, aggressive face:
I’d love if these two showed up in the U.S. They could join the Chevrolet Colorado, which has some architectural bits based on the old Isuzu D-max, and before you know it, the U.S. could have body-on-frame Isuzus on every street corner like the good old days.