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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.

Suicide doors with new BT-50

2011-06-08 10:09

BT-52 BOMBSHELL: If Mitsubishi’s Triton shocked bakkie fans with its styling, how are they going to deal with this?

Mazda expects Australia to be the most important market for its all-new BT-50 and as such the new bakkie will debut at the 2011 Melbourne auto show during the first week of July.

The new BT-50’S pièce de résistance is its freestyle cab, featuring suicide doors first seen on the brand’s RX-8 sportscar.

Combining a traditional front-hinged door and an adjoining rear access panel on each side of the cabin, the BT-50 freestyle cab has no structural B-pillar.

Totalling a 1.4m aperture, ingress and egress is easier than almost any other extended cab bakkie. It’s hardly a new feature though, as freestyle cab BT-50 bakkies have been on sale in South African since 2008...

INCREASED COMFORT AND UTILITY

Once inside Mazda claims they have improved the rear seat cushioning by lengthening the squab by 50mm, and extending the backrest height by 128mm. Cabin trim upgrades borrow heavily from the CX-7 SUV, with a new steering wheel, instrument cluster and fascia yielding decidedly car (instead of bakkie) oriented ergonomics.

A fundamental point of the freestyle cab’s appeal is its ability to carry four occupants and still retain usable loadbox volume, unlike most double-cab bakkies.

Mazda claims to have increased the BT-50’s overall cargo volume to 1453-litres, an improvement of 266 litres over the current model.

The new BT-50 will share powerplants with Ford's Ranger, including the range-topping 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbodiesel, rated at 147kW and 470Nm, good for hauling 3.35t hitched to the BT-50's towbar.

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