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Mazda’s new BT-50 to stay all-diesel

Oil-burner only: The upcoming Mazda BT-50 will be sporting two new diesel engines and will forgo petrol-power.

This year’s redesigned Mazda BT-50 ute will bring two new diesels, no petrol option

Mazda logo29 Mar 2011

By MARTON PETTENDY

MAZDA has confirmed the all-new BT-50 utility will continue to be a diesel-only model when it goes on sale in the third quarter of this year with two new oil-burning engines.

Like its mechanical twin also due for Australian release in as little as four months, the Australian-engineered Ford Ranger, Mazda claims the BT-50 will be one of the most powerful utes ever to hit Australian showrooms – being headlined by a new 3.2-litre inline five-cylinder turbo-diesel that delivers 147kW of power and some 470Nm of torque.

Already doing duty in Ford’s Transit van, the new MZ-CD engine – as Mazda will call it – will bring 28 per cent more power and 24 per cent more torque than the 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel that currently powers all 4x4 and most 4x2 versions of the existing BT-50.

Mazda says that will be enough for the most powerful versions of its new BT-50 to match the new Ranger with a maximum towing capacity of 3350kg – 350kg more than the 3.0-litre BT-50 diesel it will replace and significantly up on Volkswagen’s new Amarok dual-cab, which is powered exclusively by a 120kW/400Nm 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel four and can tow 2800kg.

The new BT-50’s outstanding towing capacity applies to 3.2-litre models fitted with either six-speed manual or automatic transmissions, which Mazda says will offer vastly improved noise, vibration and harshness levels over the five-speed manual and four-speed auto gearboxes they replace.

22 center imageSimilarly, Mazda claims the adoption of a new high-pressure fuel-injection system combined with advanced turbocharging will ensure the redesigned BT-50’s 3.2-litre diesel engine is both more refined and responsive.

Meantime, a new 2.2-litre turbo-diesel will deliver 110kW and 375Nm – respectively five and 14 per cent more than the outgoing 2.5-litre turbo-diesel that powers entry-level versions of the current BT-50 4x2.

Also shared with the new Ranger, the 2011 BT’s new MZ-CD 2.2 will come with a maximum towing capacity of 2500kg – a 250kg increase over the model it will replace.

No fuel consumption figures have been released but, like Ford, Mazda says that along with dramatically better performance, both diesel engines will bring improved – if not class-leading – fuel efficiency.

However, unlike Ford’s fresh Ranger – entry-level versions of which will be powered by a 122kW/226Nm 2.5-litre Duratec four-cylinder petrol engine – the new BT-50 will continue to be available exclusively with diesel power. Both the current Ranger and BT are offered only with 2.5 and 3.0-litree diesel engines.

Mazda Australia national marketing manager Alastair Doak said, “Utility buyers demand performance from their vehicle and there’s no doubt that the all-new BT-50’s new range of advanced diesel engines will provide just that.

“Not only will these engines make for a more refined and responsive driving experience but customers will really notice the benefit during common scenarios such as towing or driving with heavy loads.”

Mazda and Ford staged the world debuts of their respective new utes – which will commence production in the same Thailand factory this year – at the 2010 Australian International Motor Show in Sydney last October, while Mazda joined Ford in confirming electronic stability control will be standard in at least some versions of the new BT.

ESC is already standard on all Mazda passenger cars but not on the current BT-50. Ford announced in Sydney that along with ESC, the new Ranger would be available with four-wheel traction control, yaw control and roll-over mitigation.

Volkswagen was the first brand to fit ESC as standard across its entire utility model range with the Amarok, while Toyota, Mitsubishi and Nissan all offer ESC on selected models or an as an option in their current HiLux, Triton and Navara ranges.

The BT-50 and Ranger will be the latest in a flurry of redesigned one-tonne utility models from major car-makers, including the all-new Volkswagen Amarok released in February this year and the next-generation Holden Colorado to come in early 2012.

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