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BT-50 bakkie gets SKY engine tech

2010-09-13 11:59

These fantastic concept sketches obviously have only a passing relation to the production version of the BT-50. Mazda promises something really special though...

Mazda will unveil the ninth-incarnation of its B-series bakkie at the Australian International Motor Show in October.

With Ford and Mazda having made a substantial investment to the T6/BT-50 shared engineering architecture since 2006, market expectations are high for both the new Ford T6 Ranger and Mazda BT-50 bakkie siblings.

Engineers in Thailand, Japan and Australia have been working on the T6 Ranger/BT-50 with a budget of $700m.

Developed from the ground as a new vehicle, Mazda is undoubtedly aiming to capture the same sophisticated bakkie design mantra marketed by VW with its Amarok. Passenger car levels refinement and a range of smaller capacity (and markedly more frugal) engines are key to this.

Mazda says the new BT-50 will feature lines and proportions that owe little to its boxy B-series bakkie heritage. Expect a sleeker nose, with wraparound headlights as a part of the new BT-50’s design language.

Written in the SKY

Powering the new BT-50 will be Mazda’s new direct-injection SKY-Concept engines.

These direct injection powerplants are 20% more efficient than conventional engines of similar capacity.

The SKY-D 2.2l turbodiesel is rated to produce 129kW at 4 500r/min and 420Nm at 2 000r/min. Mazda has raised the compression ignition engine’s crankspeed ceiling to 5 200r/min too (up 700r/min from the current 2.2 diesel), which should ensure excellent high-speed cruising ability.

Mazda’s BT-50 petrol offering will also be a SKY-series engine too, the SKY-G in 2.5l trim.

Outputs for the 2.5l remain undisclosed. Don’t expect fireworks though, as these SKY-G engines are geared for low emissions and outstanding economy instead of outright performance.

As a basis for comparison the current Mazda 2l four-cylinder makes 108kW and 184Nm, with the SKY-G upping this to 121kW and 210Nm. Expect a similar ratio output increase for the BT-50’s 2.5l four-cylinder over the current engine’s 125kW/226Nm.

When it debuts in Sydney during the third week of October, the new BT-50 will be the first Japanese bakkie range to embrace radically smaller capacity engine technology.

Mazda’s SKY-series engines are part of the company’s strategy to reduce its product portfolio’s overall consumption by 30% come 2015.

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