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Mazda announced today that it will bring the Mazda CX-9, a three-row, seven-seat, crossover SUV, to its Australian line-up from early 2008. The CX-9 will boost Mazda’s SUV range to three distinct models with the 186 kilowatt V6-powered CX-9 joining the recently updated Tribute and the crossover CX-7.

Like the Mazda CX-7, which goes on sale from November, Mazda claims that the CX-9 is a clean break from the traditional boxy SUV. Engineered with Mazda’s “Soul of a Sportscar” signature, CX-9 deftly blends sporty driving spirit with seven-passenger SUV practicality.

CX-9 will be an exciting addition to our Australian range as it gives us a third model in the important SUV segment and a dynamic entrant into the seven seat market,” says Doug Dickson, managing director of Mazda Australia.

“That Mazda has agreed to re-engineer the CX-9 for right-hand-drive production just for Australia further emphases the importance of this market to the company”.

“The CX-9 represents everything a Mazda SUV should be, offering ample power, striking appearance, fun-to-drive vitality, precision build quality and unexpected versatility. While other vehicles in this category focus only on what’s behind the driver’s seat for the family, Mazda has engineered a unique solution that is equally as exciting for the driver”.

You can find more information from the press release from Mazda below:

SPACE TO STRETCH

The Japan-built Mazda CX-9 rides on a long 2875mm wheelbase, providing easy access to its three-row seating. There’s ample room for adults in every position and sufficient cargo space to accommodate modern families. Under the sleek exterior is an interior that will impress demanding customers with its space, utility, versatility, and premium features.

To make life easy for all drivers, the driver’s seat and steering column move quickly and easily over a long range of adjustment. The 60-40 split second row not only carries three in comfort, it also offers approximately 125mm of fore-and-aft slide travel and a reclining backrest. In the 50-50-split third row, the seating position and leg room are impressive in numbers and real comfort. Entry to the third row is easy, with nearly 650mm inches of access space between the folded second-row seat and the C-pillar. Even with the third row occupied, the CX-9 provides more than 480 litres of cargo capacity, eclipsing the load capacity of the boots of many large sedans. Both second and third-row seats fold flat to allow additional storage all the way up to the back of the front seats.

Extra thought is invested in small details, such as how the CX-9’s seat releases are configured. For example, releasing the second row seat in order to enter the third row requires only one simple hand motion to unlatch the seat and move it forward. Likewise, a clever strap attached behind the third row seat’s backrest serves as both a release for folding the seat and a means of pulling it up again.

EXTERIOR STYLING A PRIORITY

Many mid-sized crossover SUVs strive for the utilitarian look. The Mazda CX-9, however, is designed to evoke a strong pride of ownership. Without sacrificing versatility or efficiency, the CX-9 strives for the sophisticated appearance of a vehicle costing two to three times as much. Its smooth and flowing silhouette, prominent wheels and tires, muscular fenders and steeply angled windshield and backlight give the CX-9 a dramatic-but-refined look.

CX-9’s front end is unmistakably Mazda, with its elegantly sculpted sporty five-point grille and wide, bold bumper. A horizontal streak of chrome floats on the front grille bar, giving a distinctive and high quality feel. Side windows form a flowing, open and modern greenhouse, allowing clear vision from all seating positions. The unique trapezoid chrome exhaust pipe accentuates the fine detail put into the design.

INTERIOR STYLING STANDS OUT

Once inside the CX-9, the driver is greeted by a neatly organized combination of cylindrical shapes and blacked-out instruments on a T-shaped instrument panel. Brightly edged gauges with metal-look trim and indirect blue illumination set a cool mood. Indirect lighting also is embedded in the front and rear door trim and ceiling for a warm glow. Horizontal elements in areas such as the center panel, door trim and seat design intersect with vertical accents to create the same harmony present in fine furniture.

Interior craftsmanship and attention to detail is visible everywhere. Soft trim is elegantly configured and constructed of top-quality materials and seats have an inviting yet sporty look and feel appropriate to this type of vehicle. The dash panel houses large, clearly marked entertainment and climate controls. Delicate stitching and the metallic look of the floating door trim-grips reveal the designer’s fine eye for detail.

ENERGETIC AND REFINED POWERTRAIN

At the heart of every Mazda lies a spirited engine. The CX-9 is powered by a new 3.5-litre V6 producing about 186kW and 325Nm of torque. Advanced features include dual-overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing, a high compression ratio and electronic throttle control.

A six-speed automatic transmission will be standard. The direct benefits to Mazda customers are optimum acceleration and passing performance, coupled with excellent highway fuel efficiency.

Drive is through Mazda’s advanced Active Torque-Split All-Wheel Drive system, which uses various sensors to signal control modules that automatically apportion torque to those wheels most able to provide solid traction. A computer-controlled coupling, connected with the rear differential, automatically adjusts the torque distribution, allowing up to 50-percent of the drive power to be sent to the rear wheels, depending on traction conditions. This all-wheel drive system is also used in the Mazda6 MPS and CX-7.

SURE-FOOTED CHASSIS & BODY

The stiff unibody of the Mazda CX-9 provides a sound foundation for a poised ride and agile handling. Computer-aided-engineering analysis was used to optimise this structure, delivering high torsional and bending rigidity with minimal weight. Extra laser welds and adhesive weld bonding have been applied in critical areas for enhanced stiffness. Damping sheets applied to floor areas and acoustic foam filler added to body cavities assure a quiet, high quality cabin environment.

In front, the perimeter frame mounted to the unibody through six rubber isolators supports the powertrain, the engine-speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion power steering, and a low friction strut-type suspension system using coil springs. The multilink rear suspension consists of one trailing arm and two lateral locating members per side. To minimise cargo-compartment intrusion and permit a wider load space, the rear coil spring is positioned between the lower lateral member and the unibody. A damper is located as close as possible to each rear wheel to provide excellent motion control with minimal friction. Anti-roll bars at each end maximize agility and control during assertive driving.

In the United States, where the CX-9 goes on sale in the first half of next year, it rides on a choice of eighteen (P245/60R-18) or twenty-inch (P245/50R-20), V-rated, low-profile radial tyres. As a result, CX-9 looks and feels unusually nimble for its size.

SAFETY WITH ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY

The Mazda CX-9’s safety features are highlighted by an advanced Roll Stability Control (RSC) system that uses both body-roll rate and wheel speed sensors to determine when corrective action is necessary. A momentary torque reduction, combined with an automatic brake application, assists in restoring the CX-9 to an even keel.

Four-wheel disc ventilated brakes include an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) to prevent lockup during emergency use. When excessive wheel slippage is detected, a Traction Control System (TCS) automatically reduces driveline torque to help restore traction. Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) reduces driveline torque and automatically applies one or more brakes to minimise under or over-steer during emergency maneuvers.

Additional protection is provided by sensor-activated side-curtain airbags which extend from the first to the third row. These inflatable restraints deploy in the event of a lateral collision or a rollover to reduce the likelihood of injury and limb or head ejection. Inflation is maintained for approximately six seconds for maximum effectiveness, although the only way these systems work properly is when used in combination with seatbelts. Pretensioner devices automatically remove slack from the belt system immediately after a moderate or greater frontal collision and load limiters are incorporated to provide some give as the occupant moves forward. The CX-9’s front headrests incorporate new design features which are designed primarily to reduce neck injuries during rear impacts.

CX-9’s robust unibody uses the Mazda Advanced Impact-Energy Distribution and Absorption System to help protect its cabin from deformation harm in the event of a collision. A combination of large-section members, some made from high-tensile steel, envelope the passenger compartment to absorb impact energy while guarding against intrusion.




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