Mazda has big plans for the best-selling CX-5.
Last year, Mazda introduced the electric CX-30 as the Japanese automaker's answer to the Hyundai Kona EV. This was followed by a hybrid version that, unlike the electric CX-30, is expected to launch in America. Looking ahead, Mazda is planning to continue to expand its SUV lineup as the Japanese automaker continues to position itself more upmarket.
According to Japan's Best Car Web, the next-generation version of the best-selling CX-5 will be reborn as a premium luxury SUV designed to take on the likes of the Mercedes GLC and BMW X5. According to the publication, the next-generation CX-5 will launch in 2023, six years after the current model went on sale.
While the current model is available with FWD or AWD, the new CX-5 will share the same platform as the next-generation Mazda 6, meaning it will share the same longitudinal engine layout and potentially be offered with rear-wheel drive.
Currently, the Mazda CX-5 is available with a 2.5-liter engine producing 187 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. Like the new Mazda 6, the new CX-5 is expected to utilize Mazda's recently-unveiled inline-six engine, which will be available in gasoline, diesel, and Skyactiv-X forms, but the diesel variant most likely won't be offered in the US. This unit is also expected to power the larger CX-9 SUV. Mazda has only confirmed an all-wheel-drive system is being developed for the new inline-six unit, but the longitudinal engine layout means it will also support rear-wheel drive.
Being based on Mazda's new longitudinal platform, the next-generation CX-5 will boast larger proportions than its predecessor, with a total length of around 181 inches. This will position the new CX-5 in a class above its predecessor. A coupe SUV version of the new CX-5 is also on the cards, allowing Mazda to broaden the model's appeal. This more stylish variant will reportedly be called the CX-50.
Before the CX-5 launches in 2023, the next-generation Mazda 6 is expected to launch in 2022 with styling inspired by the stunning Mazda Vision Coupe. Since the concept was designed to preview the next-generation of Mazda's Kodo design language, the CX-5 should also borrow design elements from the concept.