Future Models - Mazda 2011 BT-50
First look inside: Mazda's slick new BT-50
Beautalitarian: The interior of the new, more lifestyle-oriented BT-50 looks more suited to a weekend at a camp site than a lifetime on construction sites.
Mazda unveils next-generation BT-50 ute’s luxury car-like interior
4 October 2010
MAZDA’S next-generation BT-50 ute will come with an interior to match some luxury cars, if this first image of its classy new cabin is any indication.
Seen here for the first time in an official design sketch following the release of the first exterior sketch two weeks ago, the inside of the all-new BT-50 appears to be as stylish as the outside of the redesigned ute.
Mazda Australia says the new BT-50, which will make its global public debut at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney on October 15 before going on sale here in the second half of next year, will offer levels of interior refinement and comfort never before seen on a utility.
In line with its positioning as an “active lifestyle vehicle” that will be marketed as a “realistic alternative to the family wagon and 4x4 SUV”, the new BT-50 features a wrap-around cockpit-style dashboard with a dominant V-shaped centre stack that flows into a full-length centre console for the first time.
As the image clearly shows, the new BT-50 also comes with deeply recessed twin-binnacle instrument dials flanking a central LCD screen and, at least on some BT-50 variants, a multi-function three-spoke steering wheel, dual-zone climate-control with twin LCD temperature read-outs and a large colour display screen at the top of the centre stack.
Also evident are heavily bolstered sports front seats, the centre fabric sections of which are matched by the door trims, a large integrated push-button audio head unit and extensive alloy-look interior highlights.
Mazda said the interior of the all-new BT-50 “has been designed to complement its athletic and refined exterior design and offers a comfortable and sporty environment to rival Mazda’s current passenger car standard”.
“Smooth flowing lines throughout the cabin provide a look never before seen on a utility while the dashboard has been designed to create optimal space for driver and passengers alike,” said Mazda.
“An enhanced instrument panel offers improved readability of the driver-oriented meters and advanced Human Machine Interface (HMI) techniques have been adopted throughout the development process, ensuring that operation of all controls and switches is both comfortable and intuitive.”
Like the model it replaces, the new BT-50 is the mechanical twin of Ford’s Ranger ute, which it will be produced alongside in Thailand from mid-2011.
Both vehicles are based on a full ladder chassis, dubbed ‘T6’, which was designed and developed for global markets by Ford in Australia.
As we’ve reported previously, Mazda Australia expects its larger and more refined new ute to play an integral role in its goal to sell 100,000 vehicles annually – and thereby achieve an unprecedented 10 per cent share of Australia’s new-vehicle market – by 2013.
Australia is one of the world’s largest markets for one-tonne utilities – a fact underlined by Ford and Mazda’s decision to stage the global debuts of their respective new utes at next week’s Sydney motor show, where Toyota will also reveal an upgraded version of its top-selling HiLux and Volkswagen will unveil its first contender, the all-new Amarok.
As with the new Ranger, expect the BT-50 to emerge first in ‘lifestyle’-oriented dual-cab 4x4 guise, powered by a choice of both petrol and diesel engines.