Looks like Mazda has caught the "fill every SUV niche" bug.
For such a small allotment of land, Japan is a mega powerhouse in the auto industry, housing the headquarters and production facilities of some of the largest automakers and exporting so many cars it would seem the island's stockpile of plastics and metals should be depleted by now. Kei cars, small low emissions vehicles that boil down to transportation pods but comply with Japanese tax and insurance regulations, have been popular sellers on the island, but the SUV craze is beginning to take over and Mazda is more than happy to supply.
No need to eat the pudding for proof because the Hiroshima-based automaker has announced a derivative of the CX-5 sized a bit more closely to the non-Japanese market CX-9 in terms of length. The teaser image supplied with the news depicts a spacious three-row crossover interior with room for six or seven depending on how it's spec'd. While it may stand in place of the CX-9 in a market that notably goes without, it will essentially be a CX-5 that's been stretched to accommodate extra passengers. While it's just as wide as the CX-5, it will share the same 2930mm wheelbase with the CX-8. However, at 4900mm in length (just 175mm less than the CX-9), parking it will be almost like parking Mazda's largest SUV.
Continuing the middle sibling act will be a height of 1730mm, placing it between the CX-5 and CX-9. The new Mazda CX-8 has been announced in Japan today," said Mazda Australia public relations senior manager, Karla Leach. "It is currently planned for production and launch in Japan only." Regardless, that doesn't eliminate the chance that the US market won't see a similar vehicle. Earlier we reported that Mazda was looking into bringing a stretched out CX-5 with seating for 7 to the US market. The only engine confirmed for the CX-8 is a 2.2-liter four-cylinder turbo diesel mated to a six-speed auto and no 2.5-liter gas unit in sight. Hopefully this will change in a US market three-row CX-5.