Roomy ute is on its way
AUSTRALIA will be host to the global unveiling of Mazda’s suicide-door ute.
The BT-50 Freestyle will be revealed at the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne, following in the tracks of the world’s first look at the dual-cab version at last year’s show.
While a future single-cab version is a foregone conclusion— but hasn’t been officially confirmed — Mazda spokesman Steve Maciver said being first to reveal the first two body styles would raise more interest in the ute sub-segments where the BT50 is lagging.
‘‘We certainly perform very well with the single cab, but where we’re a little underdone is the 4x4 dual cab area,’’ Mr Maciver says.
‘‘That’s where we want to grow the business, and the features on the BT-50 will help us compete better in that segment.’’
Based on the Ford Ranger, the BT-50 in Freestyle form has rear-hinged panels that mirror the front-hinged doors to make for a very wide 1408mm pillarless opening, offering easy access to both front and rear seats.
While a large cabin usually tends to eat into tray capacity, Mazda has increased the tub volume of the Freestyle by 266 litres total of 1453 litres.
More cargo space is available by removing the rear seat cushions, which Mazda says have been enlarged and
for a improved for better comfort.
Although it’s largely a Ranger twin under the skin, the BT-50’s ‘‘all-new drivetrain’’ (promised at last year’s motor show) will not be following the Ford down a petrol path.
It will instead continue with the ute’s turbodiesel focus but with improvements on the outgoing models’ 105kW/330Nm 2.5-litre and 115kW/380Nm 3.0-litre.
The BT-50 will go on sale later this year. Pricing and final specifications will be revealed closer to its launch.
Wewant to grow the business
Mazda’s BT-50 ute will make its world debut in Australia