Mazda Teases New SUV For Geneva
There’s a big possibility that we could be looking at the rear-end of the next-generation Mazda CX-4by Kirby Garlitos, on LISTEN 04:50
Just as everyone’s attention is focused on the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, Mazda coyly dropped a teaser photo of a new crossover that will debut at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show this March. Without giving any hints on what this model is, Mazda looks like it’s teasing what we believe is the new CX-4. There’s no indication that this model is actually the CX-4, but the image reveals a model that looks too big to be a CX-3 and too tight to be a CX-5. Whatever it is, Mazda has said that this model will incorporate its modern Kodo design language, and, more importantly, it will be available in the U.S. at some point in the future. The 2019 Geneva Motor Show kicks off on Thursday, March 7, 2019.
I want to say that I’m surprised about this teaser, but I can’t because if this is, in fact, the Mazda CX-4, it’s more a case of “what took you so long, Mazda?” than it is “it’s finally coming to America!” See, the Mazda CX-4 isn’t an all-new model; it actually exists and has existed since it was introduced in April 2016 at the Beijing Motor Show. Now, there’s a reason a lot of people haven’t seen or even heard about it.
Since it arrived in the market, the CX-4 has been sold exclusively in China courtesy of a joint venture between Mazda and Chinese state-owned automaker FAW.
No other market has seen the CX-4 so it is a big deal that Mazda is bringing the model to the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. The question that we should be asking is this: what should we expect from the Geneva-bound CX-4? Does this version of the compact crossover look like the one that’s out in the market in China? Is it going to carry a new design? Most important, what’s Mazda’s distribution plan for the model?
The good news is that we at least know the answer to the last two questions. Mazda said as much in the press release that accompanied the teaser. The crossover, according to the Japanese automaker, is the “second model in the company’s new-generation line-up. It features a more mature Kodo design language and Mazda’s new-generation Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture.”
In the absence of clear photos, we can at least detect that makeup of a coupe-crossover that’s similar to the profile of the current-generation CX-4 that’s sold in China. The teaser shows a model with a wide stance and a long-slung roof, rakish to the point that it’s hard to imagine it being anything other than a coupe-crossover. The posterior looks big, too, which is typical for a coupe-crossover design.
Throw in the aggressive round taillights that actually reminds of Ferrari, and you’re looking at model that fits the aesthetic profile of a coupe-crossover.
Could this model also be inspired by the Kai Concept just like the all-new Mazda 3? We shall see. Mazda does have plans of giving its new models a more premium look. The new Mazda 3’s design met that goal so it’ll be interesting to see if this new crossover can follow suit.
Mazda also touched on another key point about this not-so-mysterious crossover. In addition to carrying the latest iteration of the company’s Kodo design language, it’ll also ride on the new-generation Skyactiv-Vehicle architecture, the same platform currently used by the new Mazda 3. Combine all these elements and you can imagine why Mazda’s excited to unveil this new crossover at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.
As far as distribution goes, this new crossover is coming to America. Mazda spokesperson Drew Cary confirmed as much to Car and Driver. Cary also said that the model that’s appearing in Geneva is the Euro-spec version. That’s an important distinction considering that the model that eventually makes its way to the U.S. could look a little different from the one that we’ll see in Geneva. More importantly — and far more likely — we could have different powertrain options to choose from, compared to what Mazda plans to sell in the Old Continent. No diesel here, perhaps?
Now, I’m not discounting the possibility that this crossover could be something completely different from the CX-4.
It could be a facelifted version of the CX-3 or it could be something else entirely different.
Surprises like this are nothing new in the auto industry. But I’m planting my flag on the CX-4. It was launched in 2016 and, to this day, I’m still confused about why it hasn’t been offered in the U.S. — or in Europe, for that matter — given our sudden obsession with crossovers and SUVs lately.
Fortunately, Mazda’s making up for that quickly. Unless something completely unexpected shows up in Geneva, it looks like that we’re finally going to get our hands on the Mazda CX-4 at some point in the near future. When that’s going to be could be answered next month. For now, it’s simply a matter of “better late than never.”
Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda CX-4.
Read our full review on the 2019 Mazda CX-3.
Read our full review on the 2019 Mazda CX-5.