Mazda continues its rollout of efficient SkyActiv technologies in 2012 with the local introduction of the compact CX-5 SUV in March. At this stage, it appears unlikely the light Mazda2 will adopt a SkyActiv engine in the New Year, while the mid-sized Mazda6 won’t get any significant upgrades until the all-new Takeri-derived model arrives in 2013. Benefitting from an update in September, the ever-popular Mazda3 will also continue through 2012 largely unchanged. Mazda Australia will have supply of the phased-out RX-8 for the first few months of the year, and is currently considering a special ‘farewell edition’ model to see its rotary sports car off in style.
Vehicle type: Light commercial. Timing: January
Mazda completes the rollout of its all-new Australian-engineered ute with the BT-50 Single Cab variants joining the Freestyle Cab and Dual Cab models, which arrived late in 2011. Mazda expects to sell 250 Single Cabs per month in 2012, accounting for 25 per cent of total sales. The BT-50 Single Cab will only be available in the entry-level XT specification level, but still comes standard with cruise control, trip computer, full Bluetooth connectivity and iPod-compatible USB input. All Single Cabs also come with a five-star ANCAP safety rating courtesy of the standard electronic stability control and front and curtain airbags. The 110kW/375Nm 2.2-litre diesel will be offered with 4x2 only, while the 147kW/470Nm 3.2-litre diesel comes with the option of 4x2 or 4x4. Prices are still unconfirmed, but expect them to range from approximately $24,000 for the 2.2-litre 4x2 to $40,000 for the 3.2-litre 4x4.
Vehicle type: Compact SUV. Timing: March
The big news for Mazda in 2012 is the arrival of the CX-5. The all-new model will eventually replace the CX-7 as Mazda’s compact SUV in Australia, but for at least a few months the two will be sold alongside each other in the local range. The CX-5 has a shorter wheelbase than the CX-7, but offers more interior and cargo space, new engines and greater efficiency. Powering the CX-5 will be two engines: the 121kW/210Nm 2.0-litre ‘SkyActiv-G’ petrol and the 129kW/420Nm 2.2-litre ‘SkyActiv-D’ diesel. Fuel consumption is expected to be class leading, potentially ranging from 5.0 litres per 100km to 6.5L/100km. Prices should start below $30,000 for an entry-level front-wheel drive model, while Mazda estimates the top-spec all-wheel drive GT Diesel will cost $55,000 driveaway.