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AIMS: Plenty of debuts for Mazda at Sydney

Nine lives: Mazda has breathed new life into the CX-9 SUV with a facelift that brings its looks into line with the newer CX-5 and Mazda6.

Refreshed CX-9 world debut at AIMS beside first Aussie outing of Mazda6, MX-5 update

16 Oct 2012

MAZDA’S world debut of the facelifted CX-9 seven-seat SUV at this week’s Sydney motor show will be joined by the Australian premiere of the all-new mid-size Mazda6 sedan and wagon plus the first local glimpse of its updated MX-5 sportscar.

An exhibit extolling the virtues of Mazda’s fuel-saving SkyActiv technologies will also feature alongside the brand’s current products, comprising the Mazda2 light car, Mazda3 small car, Mazda3 MPS hot hatch, the current Mazda6, CX-5 compact SUV and BT-50 one-tonne utility.

The company’s global CEO and chairman, Takashi Yamanouchi, will take to the stage at Darling Harbour to whip the covers off all the new models in recognition of the Australian market’s high standing within the Japanese company.

Australia is one of Mazda’s largest global markets for the CX-9 and the brand is ranked top vehicle importer here, where its 9.5 per cent market share is well above its position in its other major markets.

As much as is possible for a midlife facelift, the new CX-9 adopts Mazda’s ‘Kodo’ design theme, bringing it more into line with the smaller CX-5 and new Mazda6.

22 center imageFrom top: Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi Mazda6 sedan and wagon.

Hi-tech additions include forward collision warning, lane departure warning and automatic high-beam headlights plus and upgraded infotainment system with voice recognition, the latest satellite navigation technology and audio system tweaks.

Meanwhile, the 3.7-litre V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission will remain the sole powertrain on offer when the updated CX-9 hits Australian showrooms later this year.

The Mazda6 mid-sizer is likely to further boost sales for the brand when it arrives Down Under early next year, especially as it closely resembles the sleek Takeri concept first outed at the Tokyo motor show last November.

It made its first public appearance as a sedan in production form at the Moscow motor show in August before the wagon was revealed last month at the Paris motor show.

Power will come from a new 2.5-litre SkyActiv-G petrol engine, with the CX-5’s 2.2-litre SkyActiv-D diesel optional.

Both powerplants will debut Mazda’s innovative capacitor-based i-Eloop regenerative braking system, said to cut consumption by 10 per cent when driving in city traffic.

Arriving in showrooms just in time for summer will be the updated MX-5, which has been mildly updated with a more aggressive front bumper design that Mazda claims improves aerodynamics.

A larger air intake resembles the grille shapes of newer models like the CX-5, Mazda6 and CX-9 and interior trim highlights have changed from silver to glossy dark grey.

Engineers have also tweaked the throttle mapping and brake booster to make the roadster more fun to drive hard.

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