The main driving force will be the US-built CX-50.
The Mazda CX-50 will make its highly-anticipated debut later today, and the Japanese manufacturer has high hopes for this new SUV. In an interview with Automotive News, Mazda's CEO shared his hopes for the new crossover. "We have developed the car in line with requests from North American customers, so we have high expectations for the CX-50," said Akira Marumoto. By focusing on North American demands, Mazda hopes to add 150,000 sales to its existing tally of 130,000 units sold this year so far. Mazda will also go further than that, launching a total of five new SUVs and an EV platform.
As we reported earlier, the CX-50 is not a CX-5 replacement. According to Marumoto, the CX-50 is meant to bolster the range. It's more or less the same size but will be slightly wider and have more cargo capacity. It will not use Mazda's new rear-drive platform but will share its underpinnings with the CX-30. That's not a bad thing, as the latter is a highly comfortable, well-built crossover. The CX-50 will be built alongside its smaller brother in Alabama.
So, what else will set the CX-50 apart from the CX-5, other than being wider and roomier? It appears as if it will be the more stylish, luxurious alternative. That's what we gather from the patent sketches we've seen so far.
Mazda recently facelifted the CX-5, and in so doing, simplified the range. All-wheel drive is now standard and this comprehensive package is basically the default midsize SUV for someone who wants to get around comfortably and efficiently while enjoying improved traction capability in all weather conditions.
The CX-50 will also have enhanced all-wheel-drive capabilities, which we hope will not dilute the fun-to-drive factor that so many Mazdas are known for. Its coupe-like rear also competes with a broader range of crossovers, including the BMW X2. We expect it to retail for slightly more than the CX-5, and it will likely only be available with the turbocharged 2.5-liter engine. All will be revealed soon.