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Your Next Non-American Mazda Truck Will Be An Isuzu Instead Of A Ford

Taillights on the tail gate. Don’t see that too often. (Image: Mazda)
Taillights on the tail gate. Don’t see that too often. (Image: Mazda)
Truck YeahThe trucks are good!

There’s some musical chairs going on with a few of our favorite global-market small trucks never destined to come to the U.S. The Mazda BT-50, currently based on the Ford Ranger, will be based on the Isuzu D-Max, which is basically a Chevy Colorado, for its next iteration. Make sense?

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Mazda and Isuzu jointly released the most unsexy press release I’ve ever seen simply stating; “Isuzu will produce next-generation pick-up trucks for Mazda, based on Isuzu’s pick-up truck model.”

Isuzu’s pickup model is the D-Max, which comes in the same flavors of four door, extended cab, and chassis cab as the global Ranger.

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The current-gen Australian-market D-Max (Image: Isuzu)
The current-gen Australian-market D-Max (Image: Isuzu)

Also like the Ranger, the D-Max is a basic mid-sized pickup truck with a turbocharged diesel engine and available manual transmission designed with a focus around efficiency rather than rock-crushing capabilities .

Since the Mazda BT-50 was just facelifted for 2016, it’s presumed that the changeover will take place around the 2018 or 2019 model year at which point the D-Max will probably go through a refresh as well.

No word yet on what the practical differentiators will be between the Mazda and Isuzu-branded versions, besides a front bumper. But you can expect to see both models doing duty in the South Pacific and other markets that are not the U.S.A.

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It will compete with vehicles like the Toyota Hilux, Volkswagan Amarok, Nissan Navara (the global Frontier), and Renault Alaskan (rebadged on the Navara), but not full-sized trucks like the Ford F-150 or Chevy Silverado.

Illustration for article titled Your Next Non-American Mazda Truck Will Be An Isuzu Instead Of A Ford
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As it stands, the BT-50's look is... unique. That swoop from the front fender across the door is lovely, and the face almost looks like it could work on a sport sedan. Almost.

I can’t imagine this slippery shape going over well with us aggressive, brick-loving Americans, but the design is cohesive enough to work within the geometry of a truck.

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Illustration for article titled Your Next Non-American Mazda Truck Will Be An Isuzu Instead Of A Ford

Definitely looks weirdly half-built with a tray bed, though. And by “weird” I mean “I kind of want one.”

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We’ll keep our eyes open for details as they break out. But I don’t believe a U.S. version is likely—even if the Mazda parts could be made to bolt up to the American version of the Chevy Colorado, which might be possible, Mazda would have a long and steep climb to market themselves as a pickup company.

Then again, maybe they’re perfectly poised to bring the “mini sport truck” back!

Jalopnik Staffer from 2013 to 2020, now Editor-In-Chief at Car Bibles

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DISCUSSION

TomSlick
My X-type is too a real Jaguar

Yes bring back the Mini truck craze