Mazda Australia announces rugged BT-50 Thunder variant

Mazda has lifted the lid on its ‘uniquely Australian’ range-topping BT-50 variant, called the Thunder, adding specialist Australian engineering and some visual tweaks to the popular ute.

The BT-50 Thunder is based on the top-spec BT-50 GT dual-cab 4×4, and is described as meeting a number of Australia’s ‘unique demands’, including the need for a Lightforce dual-row LED light bar, single hoop steel bull bar, and aggressive visual tweaks.

These visual tweaks include a set of wide fender flares, side steps, 18-inch black alloy wheels, a premium sports bar around the rear of the ute, and an electric roller tonneau, as well as Thunder decals. Mazda says that all up, its aggressive treatment to the BT-50’s style and capability amounts to around $13,000 of added value.

The BT-50 Thunder is powered by the 3.0-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder diesel already featured in the latest BT-50 lineup. It supplies 140kW and 450Nm, with the choice of a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Mazda says the manual Thunder variant is rated at 7.7L/100km on the combined cycle, while the automatic is rated at 8.0L/100km (same as GT variant).

The BT-50 Thunder is fitted with a dual-range 4×4 system as standard, which includes a locking rear differential for improved traction. The Thunder can be optioned with a range of mica and metallic paint finishes at no extra cost as well. Mazda Australia’s managing director, Vinesh Bhindi said:

“We have been extremely pleased with how the Brand-New Mazda BT-50 has been received by our dealer partners, customers and media since its mid-2020 launch. The range-topping, uniquely-Australian BT-50 Thunder makes a strong statement with a bold and assertive aesthetic, while retaining the high level of specification and safety attributes expected of a Brand-New BT-50 model.”

The BT-50 Thunder will be available from $65,990 for the manual, and $68,990 for the automatic, when it goes on sale in April (excluding on-road costs).

For those interested, the GT grade, on which the BT-50 Thunder has been built, offers features like powered mirrors, leather upholstery, heated seats, parking sensors, LED headlights and running lights, dual-zone climate control, a 9.0-inch infotainment system with satellite navigation, adaptive cruise control, and a whole heap of Mazda’s safety equipment.

Mazda is packaging the BT-50 Thunder with a five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty, with complimentary roadside assist for those five years.