Mazda on Monday unveiled its new, long-awaited BT-50 bakkie to the local market, after having first shown the one-tonner at the Australian International Motor Show in October 2010.
The bakkie is assembled at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa’s (FMCSA’s) Silverton plant, in Pretoria, alongside the Ford Ranger. FMCSA distributes the Mazda brand in South Africa.
The Pretoria-built BT-50 will, however, not be exported to global markets, as is the case with the Ranger.
“The all-new Mazda BT-50 is designed to appeal to customers who have an active and demanding lifestyle, whether at work or at play,” says Mazda marketing manager Doreen Mashinini.
“The revolutionary new design, combined with increased interior space, longer wheelbase and greater power, ensures all the comfort of a passenger car, with the versatility of a pick-up truck.”
Three body types are available to the South African public, namely double cab, single cab, and Freestyle (extra-space single cab). All body types are greater in length, width and height than the current BT-50.
For entertainment, all Freestyle cabs – except the 2.2 MZ-CD SLX High Ride 4x2 manual transmission diesel model – and double cab derivatives have a radio, MP3-compatible CD player and AUX socket as standard.
Another comfort feature is a dual-zone automatic air-conditioning system.
An all-new engine line-up consists of 2.2- and 3.2-litre diesel derivatives, as well as a 2.5-litre petrol derivative, mated to 5- and 6-speed manual transmissions and a 6-speed automatic transmission. All four wheel-drive models feature a shift-on-the-fly transfer case.
The in-line 4-cylinder, 16-valve, MZ-CD 2.2-litre common-rail diesel direct-injection power plant forms the backbone of the engine line-up, and is offered in two power versions.
The 88 kW version delivers maximum torque of 285 Nm, while the 110 kW version pushes out maximum torque of 375 Nm.
The MZ-CD 3.2-litre engine achieves power and torque of 147 kW at 3 000 rpm, and 470 Nm at 1 750 rpm to 2 500 rpm.
These diesel engines, except the 88 kW MZ-CD 2.2, are married to either 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmissions.
The MZI 2.5-litre inline. 4-cylinder DOHC petrol engine features a power output of 122 kW and has peak torque of 225 Nm. This engine, as well as the 88 kW MZ-CD 2.2 diesel derivatives, are paired with a new 5-speed manual transmission.
Front suspension on the new BT-50 consists of a double-wishbone layout with coil springs, with the rear a rigid axle with leaf springs.
Passive safety inside the cabin includes front and passenger airbags on all models. There is also a shock-absorbing steering column and crushable brake pedal to further protect the driver.
The Mazda BT-50 service intervals are set at 15 000 km. The vehicle comes with a four-year/120 000 km manufacturer warranty, as well as a five-year/90 000 km service plan.
A three-year MazdaMotion roadside assistance plan comes standard with the purchase of any Mazda vehicle.
Pricing starts at R190 330.