Mazda has revealed an all-new revolutionary CX-9 at the Los Angeles motor show with the crossover expected in New Zealand later next year.
The seven-seater has moved away a ‘people mover’ persona and into the medium SUV segment while gaining an all-new SkyActiv engine.
The CX-9 not only contains many of the Japanese company’s Kodo design aspect seen in the CX-3 and CX-5 crossovers but more importantly for the company, an all-new 2.5-litre turbo petrol engine.
The new SkyActiv engine replaces Mazda’s 3.7l V6 petrol engine and has a 20 per cent increase in fuel efficiency but produces 420Nm of torque at 2000rpms, as much as a conventional 4-ltire V8 claims Mazda.
The CX-9 goes on sale in the United States, it’s largest market in the world, in the first quarter of 2016 but Kiwis won’t see a right-hand-drive until at least the middle of the year.
Mazda NZ’s managing director, Andrew Clearwater, said currently the company sold about 20 CX-9’s a month, but would look to double that number with the new model.
Mazda has focused on the day-to-day use of the CX-9 in the USA, where 80 per cent of its sales for the model are, and realised that its buyers needed low-end revs, not extensive power at high speed.
So the 2.5-litre SkyActiv engine was created to produce power in the lower range of gears for use in stop-start traffic and city driving.
The CX-9’s exterior design was also in line with recent successes from Mazda, such as the CX-5 and CX-3, with a new prominent grille, giving it a more aggressive stance on the road.
Mazda’s chief engineer for the CX-9, Masahi Otsuka, told journalists at a press event earlier this week that the crossover “must have an ‘x factor’, you can’t explain it but it must appeal to your emotions”.
Originally launched in 2006, the second-generation CX-9 is 5065mm long, 30mm shorter than its predecessor but its wheelbase has been increased by 55mm.
The all-wheel-drive was revealed at the Los Angeles motor show today, but four hand-built prototypes were used for press drives earlier this week.
Driven was one of the first in the world to drive the camouflaged vehicle around Los Angeles but details of that have been embargoed until next week.