New Mazda BT-50 Revealed, but It’s Not Coming to the UK

Nine years on from the last Mazda BT-50 we saw in Europe, the Japanese firm today revealed its new pickup truck built around the Isuzu D-Max.

Mazda BT-50: Missing for Nine Years

While we’ve not had a BT-50 since 2011, the truck has continued to sell well in Australia, as well as the rest of Oceania, south-east Asia, Central and South America, the Middle East and Africa – almost everywhere except Europe, which was thanks to a deal with Ford.

The last-generation model, which we didn’t see in the UK, was developed by Ford and based on the Ranger. As part of the arrangement, Mazda wasn’t able to sell the vehicle in Europe.

The new Mazda BT-50 is built by Isuzu

Mazda BT-50: Isuzu D-Max Underpinnings

The Ford deal has been replaced by one with Isuzu. The result is that the new BT-50 is built entirely by Isuzu, based on the new D-Max running gear, and supplied to Mazda on an OEM basis.

That means the engines, gearbox, chassis, suspension and four-wheel-drive system are all lifted directly from the D-Max, ensuring the new Mazda BT-50 offers just as much performance and capability as the new Isuzu that we’ll see in the UK later this year.

Mazda BT-50: Kodo Design

The one area Mazda had an impact on was design, which incorporates touches of its Kodo design language found across its range of cars. That starts at the front, with its distinctive grille that connects to the headlights with an aluminium bar, suggesting a ‘powerful line of movement’ and reinforcing the ‘power, toughness and utilitarian functionality’ suited to a pickup truck.

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The interior leans heavily on Isuzu, with no sign of Mazda’s Connect infotainment system or simple heating and ventilation controls. Instead, there’s a large 9.0-inch touchscreen with, pleasingly, physical audio controls, sitting above an array of buttons to control the cabin environment.

The new Mazda BT-50 interior

Mazda BT-50: Engine and Driveline

Revealed only in Australian specification so far, the BT-50 will be fitted with an Isuzu 3.0-litre diesel engine (codenamed 4JJ3) developing 190hp and a competitive 450Nm of torque. There will be a choice of both manual and automatic gearboxes.

Payload capacity stands at 1,065kg, with the Australian model being rated to tow 3,500kg. These are measures we also expect the new Isuzu D-Max to achieve.

Mazda BT-50: Price and Availability

The new Mazda BT-50 will go on sale in Australia in September 2020, although there has been no pricing revealed. However, that’s of little concern as the BT-50 won’t be coming to the UK.

“Sales of the Mazda BT-50 stopped in the UK in 2011,” explained a Mazda spokesperson to Professional Pickup and 4×4. “Since this time, Mazda’s business in the UK has focused on premium SUVs and cars. There are currently no plans to reintroduce the BT-50 in the UK as traditionally commercial vehicles were a very small percentage of our market share in the UK.”