Mazda has chosen 4x4-loving America as the launch venue for its new CX-7 crossover vehicle, which will be unveiled at next month’s Detroit motor show.
On sale in the USA in spring, with European versions following at the end of the year, the stylish CX-7 is, despite the name, a five-seat off-roader/estate car crossover powered by a 244bhp 2.3-litre DISI (Direct Injection Spark Ignition) turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine and four-wheel-drive system from the forthcoming Mazda 6 MPS. For this 4x4 application the unit has been retuned to produce more torque, with 258lb ft available from 2500rpm.
Mazda claims that the CX-7 will be fun to drive with more car-like handling than the 4x4 norm, thanks to its stiff monocoque structure, all-independent suspension and standard ESP. Drivers can select front-drive only to save fuel, or Mazda’s ‘Active Torque Split AWD’, which sends up to 50 per cent of drive to the rear wheels when slip is detected.
It should be practical, too. Mazda claims a 23mpg average and a huge boot, with 847litres with the split rear seats up and a vast 1660litres when they are folded.
Joining the CX-7 at Detroit will be the Kabura coupe concept car. Following the European-designed Sassou and Japanese-penned Senku, the Kabura is the work of Mazda’s Californian design studio and combines sharp styling with a rear-wheel drive powertrain.
Making a re-appearance after the Tokyo show will be the Mazda 5 Hydrogen RE Hybrid concept vehicle, a midi-MPV powered by Mazda’s Renesis hydrogen/petrol dual-fuel rotary engine.