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Sportier CX-5 turbo low priority for Mazda

Sell-out success: Mazda is working hard to keep up with the second-generation CX-5’s demand, meaning a turbocharged version has been pushed further down the line.

Mazda CX-5 supply issues due to demand mean turbo mid-size SUV a while away

Mazda logo5 Dec 2017

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS in Los Angeles

MAZDA has been forced to put its mooted CX-5 turbo on hold due to unprecedented global demand for the regular mid-size SUV that has left the company scrambling to squeeze out more production capacity.

Speaking to the Australian journalists at the world premiere of the facelifted Mazda6 in Los Angeles late last month, Mazda North American Operations president and CEO Masahiro Moro hinted that shoehorning the larger CX-9’s 170kW/420Nm 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine into the mid-size CX-5 is under discussion, but that the company would need to address more important issues first.

“A CX-5 turbo is a good update for us to consider in the future,” he said. “But the latest CX-5 has just been launched this year, and right now it is all sold out worldwide.

“It’s been a huge success, and Mazda Motor Corporation has been very busy adding more capacity to increase supply. In almost all markets it has been very successful including the US, so right now making the CX-5 our core business is the first priority.”

However, a sportier CX-5 turbo could be introduced down the line alongside a mid-cycle facelift, with Mr Moro indicating that such a model could lift the brand image of the car-maker.

“We still have several years for CX-5 in terms of product style, so whatever we have in our technology stock, there is an opportunity to think about what the customer might be looking for,” he said.

“So, certainly cars (like a CX-5 turbo) do have a positive impact on brand image. But our strategy right now is to concentrate on our core products rather than on (niche models), because to me the more important thing is to make Mazda more popular worldwide and to resonate with customers.”

Echoing Mr Moro’s comments was Mazda Australia managing director Vinesh Bhindi, who added that he would dearly like to see a sportier version of the CX-5 available in this market.

“There’s no planning at this stage for that,” he told GoAuto. “It’s possible, potentially, but not now. If a CX-5 turbo-petrol were made available we would be the first ones to line up … and I think we would find a spot for it if it becomes a reality.”

Launched in late March this year, the second-generation CX-5 is currently only available in three (largely carryover) powertrain choices – an 114kW/200Nm 2.0-litre petrol front drive, volume-selling 140kW/251Nm 2.5-litre petrol all-wheel drive and 129kW/420Nm 2.2-litre all-paw turbo-diesel.

The Japanese-built Mazda CX-5 dominates the medium SUV segment with just over 15.5 per cent market share, ahead of the Hyundai Tucson (15.0 per cent) and evergreen Toyota RAV4 (12.7 per cent).

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