Amid the hoopla surrounding last week’s Chicago Auto Show and its many new and refreshed trucks and crossovers, Mazda teased a butt shot of a mysterious new crossover bound for a Geneva reveal next month.
Mazda’s crossovers, especially the CX-5, garner more enthusiast attention than, say, a Hyundai or Toyota CUV, due to the zoom-zoom brand’s focus on driving dynamics and attention to style. The model seen last week will one day appear in U.S. Mazda dealerships, the company’s North American CEO claims.
Masahiro Moro said in Chicago that the mystery vehicle will arrive on U.S. shores, Automotive News reports, though he’s not quite sure when. There, it will join the tiny CX-3, KODO-tastic CX-5, lux-laden CX-9, and a second mystery crossover due to start production at a joint Mazda-Toyota facility in Alabama in 2021.
The general consensus is that the dark knight seen above is a revamped CX-4 — a model previously available only to Chinese-market buyers. Moro made it clear that the mystery vehicle is not the product planned for Alabama, though the two models will share some common underpinnings.
A concept version of the upcoming U.S.-built model is nearing completion, Moro said. The company’s North American boss remains tight-lipped about the nature of the vehicle, reiterating Mazda’s claim that it’s a vehicle designed for Americans. In today’s automotive landscape, no segment is hotter than the midsize crossover (Subaru, Hyundai, and Kia recently hopped aboard with new, larger CUVs), and Mazda’s lineup practically begs for a roomy, profit-generating three-row to flesh out the higher end of its U.S. lineup. Any gap in the lower end can be filled from overseas, and that seems to be what Mazda’s planning with its Geneva-bound crossover.
As for the long-anticipated CX-5 diesel, Moro says the company is still working on gaining Environmental Protection Agency certification. Expect sales in the “near future,” he said.