Irvine, California - The first-ever Mazda CX-50 has been revealed as a brand new model for the North American market.
At this stage there don’t appear to be any plans to offer it outside of that region, however it is the first of a new generation of Mazda SUVs that will be available across the globe, meaning much of the design flavour that you see here will likely be evident in the other new models.
According to Mazda South Africa, the upcoming CX-60, CX-70, CX-80 and CX-90 are all under consideration for the local market (read more about them here), and it is expected that they will be based around the company’s new rear-wheel drive, longitudinal-engine platform.
The Mazda CX-50, on the other hand, is said to share its front-wheel drive architecture with the current Mazda CX-30. According to Mazda, it is the first of its products to be built at a new Alabama assembly plant that is shared with Toyota, however it doesn’t appear to share any technology with the latter.
The Mazda CX-50 will be available with just two engines initially, taking the form of a normally aspirated 2.5-litre petrol unit and a turbocharged version, with both linked to a six-speed automatic transmission and i-Activ all-wheel drive system as standard. The latter is linked to a selection of Mi-Drive modes that assist the vehicle in a wide variety of conditions.
Mazda says it will launch electrified hybrid versions of the CX-50 at a later stage.
“The CX-50 creates a new styling expression in the Mazda line-up that blends the brand’s striking Kodo design with an outdoor capable presence that respectfully interacts with the surroundings,” Mazda USA said upon presenting the new vehicle. “The sleek, long silhouette and wide stance help give the vehicle dynamic proportions that balances design elements that are geared toward outdoor ruggedness.”
Mazda says the CX-50 will not replace the CX-5 in any markets. The latter will continue to be enhanced throughout its life cycle, and a facelifted version is expected to reach South Africa in 2022.