Mazda is on a roll.
We often talk about mainstream automakers wanting to make more upmarket products, while trim names like 'Premium' and 'Luxury' are often used to convey the impression of an upscale product. However, the reality is often different and the label doesn't always match the experience. The same can't be said of Mazda. Sit inside a new Mazda 3 or CX-30 and you can tell that the company has taken tangible steps to compete with pricier German rivals. The next step in this process is the upcoming CX-50, a coupe-style SUV that wants a piece of the BMW X4 pie. But what will it look like? We've had a go at envisioning this new Mazda.
Mazda's latest Kodo design language works really well here. As on other Mazdas, the grille is large yet well-integrated and with a lower bright surround. The headlights are even slimmer than those on the CX-5 and the hood has a more shapely curve to it. Unlike the CX-5, we expect the CX-50 to sit lower to the ground and for it to have a more aggressively slanted roofline at the back. This is unlikely to benefit passenger or cargo space but as we've seen with vehicles like the BMW X4 and Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe, many buyers are willing to make this compromise in the interests of having a more distinctive and less boxy SUV.
The CX-50 is expected to be powered by 3.0-liter inline-six gas or diesel engines, possibly boosted by turbocharging, as well as a four-pot plug-in hybrid. The larger sixes will be supplemented by mild hybrid technology which should improve efficiency. Like the next generation of the Mazda 6, the CX-50 will direct power to the rear wheels - an AWD CX-50 should also be offered. Late last year, Mazda shared some more information about its new six-cylinder engine. These strategic choices are clearly aimed at German competitors' larger vehicles where small four-cylinder engines and front-wheel drivetrains still don't quite cut the mustard. With its sleek looks and powerful engines, the CX-50 should be worth looking out for. It should show its face towards the end of this year.