Mazda’s design chief has promised the next-generation BT-50 bakkie will be "butch" and its face "a bit more masculine" than that of the current model.

Speaking to Drive, Mazda chief designer Ikuo Maeda admitted trying to lend the upcoming new model – which will be developed alongside the next Isuzu D-Max (formerly known as KB here in SA) after a “basic agreement” was reached in July 2016 – the Japanese brand’s so-called Kodo design language would be difficult.

"I think our image is that we should be able to cover from SUV to passenger cars, but pick-up truck the rear tray has to be very flat so trying to deploy this is going to be very, very difficult," Maeda told the Australian publication.

"It is also going to be very difficult to showcase this light texture because of the sheer size of the vehicle. And also with a pick-up truck you want to have an appearance that has more strength, is butch and masculine. That’s what I hope.

"We have the signature wing within the brand and if we can make it fit then it will ensure it remains within the Mazda family. I would say, in that case, we will make the brand face a bit more masculine with that vehicle," he added.

Interestingly, the current BT-50 (which is, of course, based on the Ford Ranger) was handed a facelift in April 2018, but it was created exclusively for the Australian market.