The new-look Mazda BT-50 will bring some elements of the Kodo design language that is seen on its passenger car range, which Mazda Australia marketing director Alastair Doak told CarAdvice is an obvious way to move forward.
“Mazda in Australia has been very involved in the design of the updated model,” Doak said. “We’re one of the most successful markets for BT-50, so it makes sense in many ways.
“Mazda Australia is a very lucky because of the brand strength and our market share. We always get asked ‘does this work in Australia?’” he said.
The current vehicle’s polarising styling hasn’t deterred buyers, and Doak said the design was a way to make it stand out from the regular ute crowd.
“We did market research in Australia in Brisbane, we had two front-end designs and the one you see on the current car was the design that won,” Doak said of the current BT-50, which which was penned in Australia by Ryo Yanagisawa alongside the Ford Ranger at that company’s Broadmeadows facility.
When asked if the facelifted version will move more towards mainstream territory or stick with the swoopy lines of the current vehicle, Doak indicated that the new-look version will have a more masculine and aggressive look – much like the current range of Mazda passenger cars, the lines of which are designed with athletic animals in mind.
“We always knew the design was a bit out there for the traditional buyer,” Doak said of the current vehicle,” he said. “The facelift will pick up some Kodo design language. We’ve moved on from the old model, the company has moved on and the design language is now Kodo.
“We’ll pick as much of that as we can on BT-50,” he said. “It’s not because the current BT is wrong or we’re not happy with it – absolutely not – it’s just that time moves on, the car needs to move on and we’ll pick up Kodo.”
Don’t expect a major overhaul of the cabin – instead, it is expected that the ute will receive a range of minor updates, though the MZD Connect audio system is likely to take the place of the small-screen unit currently on offer in the BT-50.
“There will be less of those [interior] changes in the BT-50. It’s still very competitive in that segment, we’re pretty happy with it,” Doak said.
Further details including what changes (if any) will be made to the engine line-up are yet to be confirmed, but there's a chance the 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel and 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo diesel will both see upgrades, and a higher towing capacity (beyond the current class-leading 3.5-tonne capacity on offer) could also eventuate.
Stay tuned for more on the 2015 Mazda BT-50 as it comes to hand.