“It would be nice… If it was available, we would take it,” Mazda Australia boss Martin Benders told CarAdvice at the unveiling of the new CX-5 in Los Angeles tonight.
“Well we know that the engine is based on the [naturally aspirated] 2.5 so the turbo doesn’t take much room in the engine bay. So it’s feasible... whether it’s possible or if they want to do it is another matter.”
The new four-cylinder engine offers 170kW of power and 420Nm of torque and has been tuned to offer its might low in the rev range for a better driving experience in an SUV.
The idea that a higher-spec and sportier version of the CX-5 would be made available with this engine makes logical sense for Australia’s best-selling SUV.
Mazda as a brand has been pushing itself more upmarket, and models such as a 2.5-litre turbocharged CX-5 would allow it to better compete with the like of the new Volkswagen Tiguan and even entry models from the European premium offerings.
Benders says that from a marketing and sales perspective, having more engines in the range is always a bonus.
“We think that a car line sells better if you give people more as you go up the grade. You've got CX-5 with 2, 2.5 [litre] petrol and 2.2 [litre] diesel, you give them those varieties, then it’s more interesting.
"But if you say you get a 2.5 petrol and you get this grade and this grade and you just get more equipment, it’s not as interesting for people.”
The strategy has applied to the likes of the existing CX-5 as well as the MX-5 sports car, which is offered in a 1.5 and 2.0-litre engine sizes, helping give buyer more options and price points. However, there is a chance that it may stop some from going up to the seven-seater CX-9, if the powerplant is available in the smaller SUV.
As to whether or not the 2.5-litre turbocharged engine will make in into the CX-5 or Mazda 6, that remains to be seen - but CarAdvice believes the signs are likely as the Japanese brand seeks to grow further up the premium chain.