New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

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.


There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.