14 September 2011

Mazda CX-5 officially released - full details inside

Mazda CX-5 has been tested by fellow journalist across other continent last month to sample the upcoming SUV. Journalists were impressed with the Skyactiv technology that cover both lighter bodyshell as well as advanced powertrain. Today, the smaller brother to CX-7 has been officially launched at Frankfurt Motorshow. The new compact crossover SUV is tagged as Advanced Driving Pleasure-First full implementation of Skyactiv Technology and KODO design language.

KODO design language is the epitome of Soul of Motion. The new Mazda design language, replacing the short-lived Nagare concept, was inspired by nature's power and beauty as well as the concept of object in motion. KODO concept is meant to emphasis vitality and agility. The new design language was previewed previously by Mazda Shinari concept and Mazda Minagi concept, which is faithfully morphed into CX-5 we see here, virtually identical.
For the front end, the new KODO design theme centered on new signature wing that emphasis strength and depth. The taut surfacing at the rear, emphasized by the flared wheel arch, signifying athletic and toughness. Prominent fender and sculpted body side profile personified the sense of power.

Full technical details and more photos after the jump.

The aforementioned Skyactiv technology mainly branched into two fronts; namely advanced lightweight body structure and advanced powertrain. For the body structure, the design is optimized for lightness and rigidity via iterations of multi-load path concept. This eliminate the redundancy in body stiffening, as single reinforcement can resist loading from multi-direction. The use of high strength steel has assist in achieving this, while still maintaining top-class safety standard. This results in weight saving for a given strength. Undoubtedly, progress in FEA world has enabled ever improving body design and crash performance. 

The new Crossover SUV is powered by a range of Skyactiv powertrain, dubbed Skyactive-G and Skyactiv-D, respectively for both gasoline and diesel. The gasoline is a world highest compression ratio for naturally-aspirated car engine at 14:1, the 2.0l lump that capable of producing 165bhp and 210Nm of torque. The engine also features direct-injection technology, which starts to fill out smaller engine segment right now. The Skyactive-D is a 2.2l that comes in two states of tune, 150bhp and  380Nm for the first tune and  175bhp and  420Nm for the higher power version. The Skyactiv-D has the world lowest compression ratio for diesel engine at 14:1. It comes with highly efficient two stage turbocharger that spirited power delivery surpassing conventional diesel engine. Both car can be paired with Skyactiv-DRIVE 6 speed auto and Skyactiv-MT, a 6 speed manual box that was said to offer MX-5 level of precise gearchange. I'm getting tired to typing the word Skyactiv here. Any engine and transmission can be paired with front wheel drive or All-Wheel-Drive drivetrain. The FWD and MT Gasoline combination withi-Stop systems yields an efficient 6l/100km fuel consumption. Same combination for lower tune diesel yields an even more impressive 4.5l/100km!
The interior is packaged in such a way that it deliver spacious, practical and smart solution. The class-leading 2700mm wheelbase (CRV is 2620mm since its first generation) yields a class-leading 997mm of rear seat legroom. This gives an ample knee space for an adult to occupy the back seat. The boot space stands at 500l , big enough but not as voluminous like JHonda CRV and new Kia Sportage. The rear seat adopts Mazda patented KARAKURI functionality. The rear seat is split 40/20/40 for flexibility in its folding function. Not only the rear seat folding mechanism is electrically controlled, the tonneau  cover is automatically lifted up and down too as the tailgate is opened and closed. 

The cabin control embarked on Advanced Human Machine Interface (HMI). It emphasizes on high connectivity and intuitiveness of operation. HMI targets to minimize the movement of driver's eye from the road. Main interfaces are steering wheel control button, touch screen 5.8" color screen and centre console button.
The navigation system is an integrated system by TomTom. The control button are clustered at the centre console. This could be the same system as featured on newer Renault car.

In a nutshell, Mazda CX-5 personified all the latest thinking and philosophies that Mazda would like to project for its future. It encompasses more harmony design language, improved passenger comfort and safety, efficient and optimized component design that yield lower weight and subsequently be more gentle to the environment, assisted further by advanced powertrain that not only emit less toxic gas, but being more powerful in the same go, while sweeping some world-record in their compression ratio some more. The car will be available in European market in early 2012. Asian market have to wait  a little longer. But it might be worth the wait as Mazda finally have credible challenger in compact SUV segment.

Summary of specification