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LA show: Mazda sketches CX-9

Nine lives: The CX-9 will be the latest model in Mazda’s arsenal to adopt the fuel-efficient SkyActiv powertrain technology.

Mazda’s sleek new CX-9 revealed in sketch ahead of Los Angeles show debut

5 Nov 2015

MAZDA has provided a glimpse of its forthcoming CX-9 SUV ahead of its Los Angeles motor show debut, revealing a design that will follow its smaller CX-5 and CX-3 siblings.

The second-generation CX-9 will arrive in Australian showrooms late in the second half of next year, according to Mazda Australia.

The single sketch shows a sleeker look for the seven-seat SUV compared to the eight-year-old version that received a major facelift in 2012, with sharper headlights, revised grille and a new front bumper incorporating foglights.

Mazda looks to have kept the overall shape of the CX-9, but chunkier wheelarches and more modern slimline tail-lights are evident.

The new CX-9 will be the last model in Mazda’s passenger car and SUV line-up to be built using its lightweight SkyActiv chassis and engines, and the new powertrains are likely to reduce fuel consumption – an area in which the high-riding wagon has been criticised.

Mazda is yet to announce powertrain details, but the new version will not adopt a diesel engine option, leaving it a petrol-only proposition much like the Toyota Kluger and Nissan Pathfinder.

While the statement accompanying the release gives little away, Mazda says the CX-9 will carry a more high-end look that draws on the company’s Kodo design language.

“The all-new CX-9 builds on the feeling of life imbued by Kodo and moves toward a more premium design execution that befits a three-row mid-size crossover SUV,” the company said.

Mazda Australia managing director Martin Benders told GoAuto at the Tokyo motor show last week that while fuel economy will be improved, the new CX-9 will offer similar levels of interior space.

“Packaging it is pretty close to what we have now, which is one of the better ones in the seven-seat segment,” he said.

Mazda Motor Corporation design chief Ikuo Maeda said it can be challenging incorporating the Kodo design theme on to a vehicle with the proportions of the CX-9, and hinted at a softer look for the new SUV.

“The answer is yes, but to give life to the form we don’t need to go to a dramatic kind of design. I think gentle, more softer styling cues will suffice,” he told Australian journalists at the Tokyo motor show.

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