Mazda goes like the wind
Another aerodynamic compact soft-roader will make its debut soon, writes PAUL GOVER
THE crossover family of new-age Mazda wagons is set for an addition. The company has just revealed the latest in its series of swoopy concepts, called the Kazamai (right), but in reality it is a pointer to a CX-5.
The CX-7 and the CX-9 are already on the road and doing well across the world, but the CX-5 will give Mazda a sharp new contender in the compact soft-roader class against the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.
The Kazamai — it means ‘‘swirling crosswinds’’ in Japanese — will be revealed next month at the Moscow International Automobile Salon.
Press information says the Kazamai design is intended to be ‘‘spirited and fun to drive, with compact dimensions’’.
‘‘The concept’s four-wheel-drive Mazda powertrain will consist of a next-generation direct-injection engine and a newly developed transmission. It is also aerodynamically efficient, with an evolved lightweight and robust body structure that contributes to the vehicle’s dynamics and safety,’’ Mazda says.
‘‘If it were to be built, Mazda’s latest showcar would deliver exciting driving dynamics, frugal fuel consumption and greatly reduced CO2 emissions.’’
The mechanical platform for a CX-5 would come from the Ford Kuga, a RAV4 rival that is already selling well in Europe. It has the allwheel-drive system that Mazda wants for a production version of the Kazamai.
The direct-injection engine fitted to the concept car could be either petrol or diesel. Mazda is looking at both and has already developed diesels for its Mazda3 and Mazda6 to boost sales in Europe.
The CX-5 would also be expected to come with a DSG-style manu-matic gearbox similar to the ones that have been so successful for Volkswagen and are now also in use by BMW with its M3 and Porsche with its updated 911.
The CX-5 plan is likely to advance from a Kazamai dream to a Zoom-Zoom reality within two years, even if the company is only talking vaguely about its work.
It would lose the 22-inch wheels from the motor show machine and get rear doors.
‘‘There is such potential in the compact SUV market that we want a car here today. If Mazda was to green-light something for production we would do everything we could to get our share,’’ Australian company spokesman Glenn Butler says.