Monday, June 13, 2011

Mazda to Debut New BT-50 Freestyle with RX-8-esque Door Configuration at Melbourne Auto Show

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Just shy of 8 months ago, Mazda unwrapped its all-new BT-50 compact pickup truck in double-cab form at the 2010 Australian International Motor Show (AIMS) in Sydney. Now, the Japanese automaker is preparing the next addition to its BT-50 family, the Freestyle Cab version featuring a similar door configuration to the firm’s four-door RX-8 coupe, which will also make its world premiere on Australian soil at the 2011 AIMS to be held in Melbourne from July 1 to 10.

Like the Mazda RX-8, the second derivative of the BT-50 sports a full-size front-hinged door and a smaller rear access panel on either side of the cabin. Thanks to the pillar-less design, the Freestyle Cab boasts a 1,408mm (55.4-in.) wide opening for easier entry to and exit from the front or rear seats.

In addition, Mazda has lengthened the rear cushions by 50mm for improved thigh support and more stable fitment of child seats while the seatback height has been increased by 128mm compared to the current model. If the owner needs to utilize the cabin space, the rear seat cushions can be removed.

The new BT-50 Freestyle also features a longer, wider and taller cargo tub than the outgoing model with an overall cargo volume of 1,453 liters, an increase of 266 liters.

“Just as we were delighted to be given the privilege of hosting the global debut of the All-New BT-50 Dual Cab in Sydney last year, we are equally delighted to be hosting the global debut of the Freestyle Cab in Melbourne this year,” said Mazda Australia managing director, Doug Dickson. “With Australia expected to be the largest market for the All-New BT-50 it's no coincidence that we've been asked to host not one but two global unveilings of this important new model. It's only appropriate that the Australian public see it first."

The new generation of the Mazda BT-50, which has been co-developed with Ford (see the new Ranger pickup truck here), will go on sale in select markets around the world later this year.


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