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Spied: 2016 Mazda BT-50

Designed for global markets, the BT-50 is based on the Ford Ranger.

A low-resolution picture seemingly taken inside of a factory has prematurely revealed the facelifted 2016 Mazda BT-50, a rugged body-on-frame pickup truck sold in a number of markets around the world. Like many of its predecessors, the BT-50 shares most of its mechanical components with the Ford Ranger.

The bulk of the visual updates for the next model year are found up front, where the truck gets a less polarizing design characterized by smaller headlights, a more sculpted hood and a shield-shaped radiator grille with a chromed frame. The new look is noticeably inspired by Mazda's KODO design language.

Interior pictures are not available, but sources close to Mazda have hinted the BT-50 will follow the truck segment's shift towards more car-like cockpits and benefit from a brand new touch screen-based infotainment system, a redesigned center console and upgraded materials.

Mechanically, the BT-50 is expected to gain the new 158-horsepower 2.2-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engine found under the hood of the Ranger. The current model's Blue Oval-sourced 197-horsepower 3.2-liter five-cylinder oil-burner will be carried over with no major modifications, and both two- and four-wheel drive models will again be offered.

Mazda will introduce the 2016 BT-50 online over the course of the summer. The truck will go on sale in a long list of countries including Australia, South Africa and Thailand before the end of the year, but Mazda is not planning on selling it in the United States.

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