Try to spot the difference between the CX-9.
After teasing its spacious interior with three-row seating for up to seven people a few months back, Mazda has lifted the wraps off its upcoming CX-8 crossover SUV, showing off its sleek exterior styling for the first time. But from the profile shot, you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the CX-8 and current CX-9. Put the two SUVs side-by-side, and they look practically identical, although the CX-8 will be noticeably narrower and sit lower to the road.
Its buyers won't be too concerned about its striking similarities, however, since the CX-8 will be positioned as Mazda's flagship SUV in Japan where the CX-9 isn't currently sold. The design of the CX-8 clearly takes its cues from its smaller CX-5 sibling, but the crossover's proportions are closer to the CX-9, measuring 900 mm long, 1,840 mm wide and 1,730 mm tall. Compared to the CX-9, the CX-8 is 175 mm shorter, 125 mm narrower and 17 mm lower, which could be appealing to Japanese buyers, but will share the same 2,930 mm wheelbase. According to Mazda, designers "worked to add a new dimension of maturity to the KODO-Soul of Motion design theme."
The designers are also aiming to achieve "an enduring edgy look that will continue to excite customers for many years to come." No other details have been revealed, but the CX-8 is expected to be powered by a turbodiesel 2.2-liter engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, which will also power the upcoming US-spec CX-5. In contrast, the CX-9 is powered by a 2.5-liter turbo gasoline unit. The Mazda CX-8 will go on sale in the Land of the Rising Sun later this year with seating for up to six or seven people. Whether Mazda decides to sell the crossover SUV in other regions remains to be seen, but it seems unlikely considering its practically indistinguishable against the CX-9.