Speaking to Australia's wheelsmag.com.au at the Tokyo Motor Show, Ikuo Maeda said while the BT-50 will share its underpinnings with new Isuzu D-Max (KB), incorporating the latest version of its corporate look will be a tricky balancing act.
"It is a challenge. We have to focus on creating a beautiful form but adding tougher elements to make it manly," Maeda said.
First shown at the now defunct Australian International Motor Show in Sydney seven years ago before going on sale a year later, the second generation BT-50 drew instant criticism for its polarising looks which Mazda claimed resembled that of a lion.
This was partially rectified with a facelifted and inclusion of a touchscreen infotainment system towards the end of last year, although the latter has been reserved for markets outside South Africa.
The switch in platform from the same T6 architecture as the Ford Ranger and Everest to the D-Max's will also see the BT-50 carrying on with supplied engines, as it will not feature Mazda's new range of SkyActiv motors, instead opting for units supplied by Isuzu.
There's no word on when the next BT-50 or D-Max will arrive.