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Mazda BT-50 XTR & GT debut new 8.0in touch-screen

To help the Mazda BT-50 cut a bigger slice of the ever-growing dual-cab-ute cake, Mazda Australia is introducing a much-needed technology update for some variants.

Mazda Australia teamed up with Alpine Electronics to come up with a new touch-screen media interface for the dash of certain BT-50 models. Up until now the BT-50 has fallen behind, in our opinion, in the area of on-board entertainment and technology.

Equipped as standard to the XTR and GT variant lines, the new Alpine unit includes an 8.0-inch high-res touch-screen display and integrated rear-view camera and sat-nav. The screen offers point-to-point off-road navigation and 3D digital terrain views to help in tough conditions.

Interestingly, the screen is split-screen-capable, allowing users to display climate control settings and audio and navigation information at the same time. This helps reduce the need to adjust and fiddle with the system while on the go, improving driving safety.

Also included is digital radio with enhanced audio quality via 50-Watt amplifiers, live traffic updates, and USB, HDMI and 3.5mm aux support. The screen can also display MP4 and MKV video files. Speaking about the new system, Mazda Australia marketing director Alastair Doak said:

“The reverse camera is now positioned within the screen itself, the sat nav is improved, and the system allows passengers to watch their favourite shows via the larger 8-inch screen. Mazda BT-50s new information and entertainment hub can be used and enjoyed by everyone within the vehicle.”

Mazda is rolling out the system for the XTR and GT variants for June production. It’s expected lower-end variants could adopt a similar screen in the near future. The new unit will give the BT-50 a more competitive edge in the market, potentially helping to increase sales. During the first six months of the year in Australia (through June), Mazda sold 7435 examples of the BT-50 (4×2 and 4×4 combined). This figure is down slightly on the 7738 units sold during the same period in 2016.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.