A first teaser image for what is likely to be a more premium and lifestyle-focused 2020 Mazda CX-6 SUV has been handed down tonight, ahead of its Geneva motor show unveiling in March.
Mazda has offered few useful details to accompany the visual, and indeed we're speculating on the name. However, it would appear too soon for a new CX-3 or CX-5 (2015 and 2017 respectively), and this writer suspects the CX-4 name would not be repurposed for a model wholly unrelated to the joint-venture SUV only recently launched for the Chinese market.
CX-7, perhaps? Don't rule it out.
UPDATE: Reports elsewhere are betting on this car being a new-generation CX-3, and this writer isn't inclined to write the suggestion off entirely. Still, if true, would this be the shortest model lifecycle in decades? The current model is just three years old, and most brands tend to maintain a six-year cycle. Mazda, as a smaller company, will often go even longer. Time will tell.
Above: the Koeru concept, revealed in 2015, went on to debut as China's CX-4.
As for its styling, the new model's wide haunches, tapered roofline and narrow rear window hint at a new addition to the growing market of 'coupe' SUVs.
Unusually for Mazda, this new model will debut without a concept having first been revealed – and the brand has indeed confirmed this will be a production debut, not a mere show car.
Studious readers will recall the Koeru concept unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show. While that concept went on to inform the look of the CX-4 built exclusively for China, it also provided another hint at Mazda's evolving efforts to edge into a near-premium niche.
Dimensionally, the Koeru concept measured 4.6 metres long, 1.9m wide and 1.5m high, making it 60mm longer and wider than a CX-5, and about 200mm lower. The two share a 2700m wheelbase.
The new 3 hatch and sedan, driven recently by CarAdvice's Trent Nikolic, reveals what we can expect from the styling, technology and interior quality of Mazda's new-generation cars.
Mazda has confirmed its new Skyactiv-X engine will feature, and we would expect to see its SkyActiv-G 2.5 turbo petrol engine figure at the top end. In the CX-5, it produces 170kW of power and 420Nm of torque.
Other recent Mazda additions likely to feature would include G-Vectoring Plus system – which has an added 'direct yaw movement control' function to help the steering return to the straight-ahead position "for more stable behaviour at high speeds" – and the long-demanded Apple CarPlay and Android Auto access now making its way across the brand's line-up.
Above: the new 2019/20 Mazda 3 hatch.
Watch for more on the new model to be revealed in the weeks ahead of its March unveiling at the Geneva motor show.