SOURCES inside Mazda have revealed that a small Mazda 3-based SUV or crossover will go into production next year as the CX-3.
Although Mazda director Seita Kanai would say only that “in terms of the technologies we have, it’s fully feasible”, Wheels has learned from another executive that its launch is scheduled for 2015, probably in the second half of the year.
As Kanai observes, Mazda already has everything it needs to build a CX-3, with a fresh and flexible new architecture to serve as a foundation, and a range of efficient and powerful new SkyActiv petrol and diesel powertrains, plus the CX-5’s all-wheel-drive system.
Sales of small SUVs continue to grow, not only in Australia, but around the world.
Although Mazda is a relatively small car maker with limited design, engineering and development resources, this is a segment that almost guarantees a good return on investment.
Mazda is very busy right now with the new 2 is about to go into production, development of the fourth-generation MX-5 almost complete, and a replacement for the CX-9 in the works.
Our reliable source says the CX-3 will likely launch between new MX-5 and CX-9.
Director Kanai says Mazda has no plan to add anything to its model portfolio smaller than the 2, or larger than the CX-9.
However, he added that “there is potential possibility for us to deploy a variety of things” in the range between, so there may be even more to come after the CX-3.
CGI rendering by Milos Dvorak