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Mazda CX-7: bound for Oz!

Luxo: CX-7 will rival Nissan's Murano crossover in Australia from 2007.

Mazda confirms CX-7 luxury SUV for sale in Australia after its Melbourne show debut

31 Oct 2005

FINALLY, it's official: Mazda Australia has confirmed its CX-7 crossover will go on sale here in 2007 following the local debut of the vehicle on which it's based, the MX-Crossport concept, at the Melbourne motor show in early February.

The announcement follows the agonisingly long wait for the right-hand drive production approval of Mazda's first luxury SUV, which will be sold alongside its Tribute off-roader.

Tribute, meantime, is expected to evolve into a version of the next-generation Ford Escape, which was previewed as the Equator concept at this month's Tokyo motor show - just as the current Tribute is based on parent company Ford's Escape.

As a result, CX-7 - as the production version will be called here, following its lead in the US - will be positioned upstream of Tribute in Mazda's local range when it arrives here in the first half of 2007.

Mazda says Australia's CX-7 will remain faithful to the MX-Crossport concept first seen at this year's Detroit motor show in January, but won't confirm further details.

Based on the Mazda6 platform, the MX-Crossport concept comprises seating for four, an MPS-style grille and RX-8-style wheelarches wrapped around 20-inch wheels.

While the production version will be aimed squarely at Nissan’s Murano luxury SUV, it’s possible CX-7 will feature seven-seat and all-wheel drive options in addition to the standard model’s five seats and two-wheel drive.

While the fitment of a V6 is almost certain, transmission choices expected said to include five and six-speed manual, CVT and a new dual-clutch design.

MX-Crossport is 4630mm long, 1930mm wide and has a long 2795mm wheelbase.

22 center image"Adding the CX-7 to our existing Tribute range in the all-important SUV market is an important step for Mazda Australia as it enables us to further grow the business and showcase our Stylish, Insightful and Spirited brand DNA beyond our class leading core models," said Mazda Australia managing director Doug Dickson.

"Having the MX-Crossport on our stand at the Melbourne motor show will give prospective customers a great opportunity to appreciate the benchmark styling and packaging we can expect from the Mazda CX-7." CX-7, to be built in Japan from next year, will initially be sold in North America.

The CX-7 name follows Mazda’s new global naming strategy, in which crossover-type sport utility vehicles will carry the CX designation, while rotary-engined sports cars carry the RX designation and piston-engined sports cars carry the MX designation.

"Core" production vehicles will continue to carry the name ‘Mazda’ and a number, based on vehicle size (Mazda2, Mazda3, Mazda6), while Tribute, MPV and B-Series will continue with their current nomenclature "until further notice".

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