Since the '70s, Mazda and Ford have shared pick-up platforms. The Ranger and B-Series models have had the same chassis and engines for a long time, but that's about to change soon. For the first time in decades, Mazda's pick-up won't anything to do with Ford. Instead, they've teamed up with Isuzu.
Mazda has released a teaser for the all-new BT-50, and it's expected to debut a week from now. For the next-generation BT-50, it will be using the platform of the all-new D-Max which was launched in Thailand late last year. Its frame is new, along with its suspension, and the range-topping engine. We could expect large chunks of the truck to come from the Isuzu, but reports are saying that some parts could be made in-house by Mazda.
For now, Mazda isn't releasing any details about their next-generation BT-50, but it might be the same as the Isuzu's. If so, the BT-50 could use the 1.9-liter BluePower diesel, as well as the upgraded 3.0 which saw a big boost in power. That means the BT-50's power could range from 150 PS (BluePower) to 190 PS (3.0 VGS). Torque, on the other hand, is rated at 350 Nm for the base 1.9-liter, and 450 Nm for the 3.0-liter.
Of course, Mazda can put in an engine from their range, but that seems unlikely as Mazda has typically used shared diesel engines for their pick-ups. But if Mazda will use their turbodiesel, the 2.2-liter SkyActiv-D mill is the likeliest candidate. Despite the smaller displacement, it makes the same amount of power and torque as the 3.0-liter VGS Isuzu engine at 190 PS and 450 Nm of torque.
As for its exterior, it's more than likely its front end will adopt Mazda's current design language. Currently, Mazda models come with slim headlights and a wide hexagonal grille and we expect to see that in the BT-50. From the preview photo, we can see that it will have a relatively flat nose, just like the D-Max. There's also a glimpse of its taillights, which appear similar to the D-Max. It will be interesting to see how Mazda will apply their styling cues on this utilitarian.
The pick-up segment is heating up this year. Ford updated the Ranger, Toyota gave the Hilux a power boost, and a facelifted Navara will debut within the next 18 months. If Mazda wants a bigger slice of the market, they nailed their timing just right with the next-generation BT-50. The only question now is how distinct will it be compared to its new platform brother.