Next-generation Mazda CX-9 revealed

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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With the new 2013 CX-5 compact crossover already among us and the upcoming 2014 Mazda6 sedan recently introduced in Moscow, Mazda is choosing the 2012 Australian International Motor Show in Sydney to reveal the next model to tout its new "KODO - Soul of Motion" design language, the 2013 CX-9 crossover.

The Aussie show, however, doesn't take place for another month, so yesterday's early release of 2013 CX-9 images might just be a strategic play to pull eyeballs away from competitor introductions happening daily ahead of the upcoming Paris auto show. They sure got our attention.

This first batch of photos shows only front three-quarter views, with details that include a sophisticated new 6-slatted 5-point grille highlighted by an elegant strip of chrome trim that bends along its lower half before meeting up with secondary brightwork strips that integrate into a complex headlamp cluster design. It's the same corporate styling cue offered on the new CX-5 and upcoming Mazda6, giving each new Mazda model a unique look that seems to balance luxury and sport quite well.

A new flagship SUV wouldn't seem up to par if it didn't include LED running lights, and the 2013 CX-9's are integrated into the headlamp clusters. A lower fascia shows heavy sculpting while more subtle ridges adorn the top of the hood. The CX-9's side panels appear somewhat simple in comparison to its frontal design, with a strong, almost straight shoulder line and a gently tapering greenhouse. The CX-9 in the photos is finished off with a handsome set of dual-5-spoke alloy wheels.

We know nothing of the 2013 CX-9's undercarriage, but it will no doubt continue to be a fully independent setup that balances comfort and performance as ideally as possible. We do know, however, that the CX-9's MZI 3.7-litre V6 and 6-speed automatic transmission will remain behind that new grille, although it's possible Mazda will offer a fuel-efficient SkyActiv 4-cylinder to compete with rivals that now offer thriftier 4-cylinder power. Likely front-wheel drive will continue to be standard, with all-wheel drive optional.

We know little about the new CX-9's interior other than what Mazda revealed in the press release that came along with the photos, which stated that it would receive a "high-quality cabin" with "the flexibility of three-rows." Mazda added that "enhancements in craftsmanship and interior design further the feeling of quality and refinement."

And what about equipment? The Hiroshima, Japan-based automaker tells us the CX-9's infotainment system will get the latest audio, navigation, and speech-recognition systems base on the Human Machine Interface (HMI), which will be "intuitive to use." Let's hope. Additionally, CX-9s will make available a Forward Obstruction Warning System, Lane Departure Warning System, and High Beam Control System.

More details about the 2013 Mazda CX-9 will become available when the midsize crossover debuts in Sydney on October 18.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, Mazda, 2013, CX-9, $20,000 - $29,999, $30,000 - $39,999, $40,000 - $49,999, Midsize,

Organizations: Mazda

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