Mazda Motor Corporation has just announced plans to launch a brand new crossover SUV – the Mazda CX-8. Slotting between the CX-5 and CX-9, the CX-8 can be had in either six-seater or seven-seater configuration. The new SUV will go on sale in Japan by end-2017.
The CX-8 will feature the full suite of SkyActiv technologies and Kodo: Soul of Motion design like its SUV siblings. While the CX-9 is available almost everywhere else in the world (Malaysia included), its home country does not have the full-sized SUV on offer. Therefore, the new CX-8 will be positioned as Mazda’s flagship SUV in Japan.
Measured at 4,900 mm in length, 1,840 mm in width and 1,730 mm in height, the CX-8 is marginally smaller than the CX-9 (5,075 mm height; 1,969 mm width; 1,747 mm height) but shares the same wheelbase of 2,930 mm. Motivation comes in the form of a 2.2-litre SkyActiv-D new clean diesel engine, presumable the same albeit tweaked unit from the second-generation CX-5. Transmission option is a six-speed SkyActiv-Drive automatic transmission. Further details such as alternative powertrains or AWD will be announced at a later date.
Based on the single teaser image, the CX-8 will feature a more upmarket cabin design similar to the CX-9. In the six-seater configuration, the middle seat on the second row is replaced by what appears to be an armrest instead of having a clear pathway for passengers to climb onto the third row seats like on MPVs. Other noticeable observations are the new seat design that offers more shoulder support than the CX-9.
“It has the looks, performance and high-end feel customers expect from a Mazda, and even adults can sit comfortably in the third row. Mazda aims to create a strong emotional connection with customers, and we will achieve this by continually advancing our lineup to offer all customers our unique combination of driving pleasure and outstanding environmental and safety performance,” said Masamichi Kogai, Mazda’s Representative Director, President and CEO.