1 Feb 1999
The ’99 B Series was only the third all-new model in 20 years.
Now built in Thailand, the pickup and cab-chassis bodied Mazda (and Ford Courier twin) came with a revamped body, interior, steering and suspension, on a stronger and more rigid frame offering greater safety, refinement and comfort.
Two powerplants were arrived initially, a carryover 2.6-litre four-cylinder engine producing 92kW of power at 4600rpm and 206Nm of torque at 3500rpm (B2600 Bravo) and a 2.5-litre turbo-diesel ‘four’ bearing 280Nm of torque at 2000rpm and 86kW of power at 3500rpm (B2500 Bravo).
The latter allowed a fully laden Bravo to tow an 1800kg load.
Two manual gearboxes were offered, along with the option of a four-speed automatic on some 2WD models. Mazda said that the 4WD also featured improved approach and departure angles to provide more protection in rough terrain.
Employing double wishbones, torsion bar springs and a solid anti-roll bar in the front and leaf springs out back, new suspension geometry, revised spring rates and new damper calibrations were implemented for improved ride, steering and handling capabilities.
Bigger brakes, a collapsible steering column and a stronger cabin structure were also devised.
From November ’02 a new nose with a tougher appearance was introduced in the revised B Series, along with the option of ‘free-style’ doors on certain crew-cab models.
In August ’04 another round of minor trim and specification changes heralded another Bravo facelift, while a 154kW/323kW 4.0-litre V6 was added to some models in the range from late ’05.