New Mazda BT-50 2021 rendered: New images nail what we think the Isuzu D-Max twin will look like

As we continue to countdown the days to the new Mazda BT-50’s official unveiling, new and exciting renders keep dropping, including this seemingly very accurate beauty which morphs the brand’s CX-9 SUV with a take on the Isuzu D-Max’s body styling.

If Mazda’s new take on a Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger rival does look like this, which comes courtesy of Kleber Silva we’d be on board, with the polished front end lending the BT-50 a premium road presence, without sacrificing any of the toughness demanded in this hyper-competitive segment.

It also looks incredibly realistic, capturing pretty much exactly what we think Mazda’s new ute will look like.

The new images follow news last week that Isuzu’s Thai factories – including the ones responsible for the Mazda CX-9 – have reopened in the wake of the the covid-19 crisis.

It means the D-Max is still on track for its expected launch around July, with Mazda BT-50 expected to follow a handful of months later, based on the launch timing of the last new BT-50 in 2011.

That ute was a product of the Ford Ranger/BT-50 partnership. Ford’s version launched in September 2011, and Mazda followed just two months later, in November.

While Mazda is responsible for the BT-50’s styling, the architecture has been donated by Isuzu, with that brand’s global spokesperson, Eiji Mitsuhashi, having previously told CarsGuide the the D-Max was “developed solely by Isuzu” and that the finished truck would then be provided to Mazda.

“This was developed solely by Isuzu, and we have decided to supply or provide this vehicle to Mazda as an OEM. But it was developed purely by us,” he told us last year..

That means the Mazda will also likely make use of Isuzu’s 3.0-litre diesel engine now producing 140kW at 3600rpm and 450Nm at 1600rpm, paired with a six-speed gearbox of your choosing, be it manual or auto.

There’s also updated suspension, an electronic diff lock, bigger brake rotors and a wading depth increase to 800mm, though whether that carries across to the Mazda BT-50 remains to be seen. 

That said, the BT-50 should look substantially different, with the brand’s chief designer promising it would be more “masculine and tough” than the current model.

“The rear area of the truck itself is very difficult to use this (Kodo) design language, but I could try,” the company’s design boss, Ikuo Maeda, told us in 2018.

“I myself think the truck should look masculine and strong, and really like a truck. It might be difficult to try this kind of design, with all the light reflections, to a truck. It’s tough.”

And now the clock is ticking down until we get to see it for ourselves.