Mazda will launch a new small SUV to go on sale at the end of next year, according to senior company sources.
The new car, which will be badged CX-5, previewed by the 2008 Kazamai concept, will also be the first production Mazda to be powered by the new generation of ultra-efficient Sky engines.
Mazda claims that the final production version will be at least 100kg lighter than its rivals. Like the Kazamai, it will be powered by a new generation of direct-injection petrol engines, with drive delivered to the road through new lightweight transmissions.
Mazda is also rumoured to be thinking of following the example of the Land Rover Evoque by producing both three- and five-door versions.
The Sky engines utilise low-friction blocks, direct injection technology and piezo-electric injectors. Along with i-stop, regenerative braking and lighter vehicles, they will form the core of Mazda's goal of a 30 per cent increase in fuel economy.