The History Of Mazda Proceed Levante
The Mazda B-series is a 2-door pick-up truck, first manufactured in 1961 by Mazda Motor Corporation. The current model, which was first manufactured in 1999, is the mark 7. The mark 7 can be manufactured with 1 of four body styles and 1 of two engines.
From the first B-Series pickup truck, Mazda has used the engine displacement to determine the name. Thus, the B1500 had a 1.5L engine, and the new B4000 has a 4.0L V6. In Japan, Mazda used the Proceed name on its compact pickup trucks, and another line of larger trucks is available called the Mazda Titan. Other names used for this line include Mazda Bravo (Australia), Mazda Bounty (New Zealand), Mazda Magnum / Thunder / Fighter (Thailand), and Mazda Drifter (South Africa).
Mazda's partnership with Ford has resulted in the sharing of this vehicle—the Mazda B-Series and Ford Ranger are essentially the same. In Australia and New Zealand, since the 1970s, the Ford Courier name is also used and the line continues today.
However, it should be borne in mind that the Mazda B-Series and Ford Ranger twins found inside North America are unrelated to the ones sold elsewhere. These are engineered by Mazda, whereas the North American models are developed by Ford. See Mazda B-Series for more information on the variations on the B-Series line.
The Mazda B-Series truck was introduced in Japan in August 1961 as the B1500/ Proceed. It had a 1484 cc OHV water-cooled engine with wet sleeve cylinders which produced about 59hp (44kW). It presaged many of the compact pickups of today.
The 1966 B1500/ Proceed continued with the same 1484 cc OHV I4, with minor changes in the cylinder head/ valves and the use of a downdraft carburetor instead of a sidedraft unit as used on the 1961 to 1965 models. The UA engine now produced 73hp (54kW). The chassis, now called the BUD61, had a major facelift and changed to four headlights. It looked very similar in appearance to the B1600 that succeeded it in 1971.
The updated B-Series was launched in 1972 as the B1600. The engine was enlarged to 1.8L for 1977's B1800.
- 1972-1976 - 1.6L (1586cc) I4
- 1977-1979 - 1.8L (1796cc) 1800 I4
The 1978 B2000 used a 2.0 L F/ MA engine. The 2.2L B2200 joined this truck in 1982.
- 1978-1984 - 2.0L (1970cc) F/ MA I4
- 1985 - 2.0L (1998cc) FE I4
- 1982-1985 - 2.2L (2209cc) F2 I4
A new Proceed/ B-Series was introduced in 1985 and was produced until 1991. A 4-speed automatic transmission was the primary choice, with a 5-speed manual transmission through 1989. Part-time four wheel drive was another option. The 2.6L Mitsubishi-powered B2600 was introduced in 1986. 1987 saw the Mazda I4 enlarged to 2.2L in the B2200, with the smaller engine phased out after that year. The Mitsubishi engine was gone for 1988, replaced by a new family of Mazda powerplants. A SUV/ RV version of this generation was made as the Proceed Marvie, which was sold as the Ford Raider in Australia and New Zealand.
- 1985-1986 - 2.0L (1998cc) FE I4
- 1987-1991 - 2.2L (2209cc) F2 I4, 85hp (63kW)
- 1986-1988 - 2.6L (2555cc) G54B I4, 102hp (76kW)
- 1988-1991 - 2.6L (2606cc) G6 I4, 121hp (90kW)
The 1992 Proceed/ B-Series was updated again and continued to the end of the decade in most countries, including Japan. The Proceed Marvie continued through this generation.
- 1992–1999 - 2.2L (2184cc) F2 I4, 85hp (63kW)
- 1992–1999 - 2.6L (2606cc) G6 I4, 121hp (90kW)
For the 1998 model year, Mazda renewed its own B-Series for international markets. This model was also sold as the Ford Ranger in Europe and Asia, and the Ford Courier in Australia and New Zealand. Production began that year at the AutoAlliance Thailand and Ford Motor Company Philippines factories. CKD versions are also assembled in South Africa and Ecuador.
The truck is sold in more than 130 countries under a variety of names. Along with the Fighter and Ranger badges in Southeast Asia, it was sold as the Mazda Bounty and Ford Courier in New Zealand, Mazda Bravo in Australia, and Mazda Drifter in South Africa.
In some countries, the Mazda Fighter , Mazda Bravo name is used for this line.
The B2600/ B2200 sold in Venezuela and other Latin American countries nearby were assembled in Colombia by "Compañia Colombiana Automotriz S.A (C.C.A.)".
They had a 2.6 L straight-4 4x4 model and a entry level model with a 2.2 L straight-4 4x2.
In 2004 they had a total make-over, the exterior/ parts between Ford ranger and Mazda B-series cease to have in common.
In 2002, a 'Freestyle' model became available on this platform, with rear "suicide doors". Revisions to the rest of the range came in 2002 and 2004. These models are totally unrelated to the Mazda B-series and Ford Ranger models in North America.
An SUV version, the Ford Everest, shares more than 30% of its components with the Fighter/ Ranger.
The new version BT-50 is unveiled at the Bangkok Motor Show.
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