Koeru concept is an SUV for Mazda 3 shoppers

 The Mazda Koeru concept may become the first Mazda CX-4

IS THIS the first Mazda CX-4? The Mazda Koeru concept has been shown at the Frankfurt motor show and potentially adds another model to the best-selling SUV line-up in Australia.

The Koeru takes Mazda’s Kodo design language a step further, with a low-roofed, athletic SUV that showcases forthcoming Mazda cues and rides on the same platform as the Mazda 3 and CX-5.

Mazda -Koeru -May -be -Mazda -CX-4-frontThat means a 2700mm wheelbase, but the Koeru is longer, wider and lower than the Mazda CX-5, which it will sit below if it makes showrooms.

The most distinctive part of the overall look compared to the existing Mazda line-up is that tapering roofline, which sits a significant 210mm lower than the CX-5’s.

Yet Mazda chief designer Iwao Koizumi is adamant that the concept is not simply a CX-5 with tapered roofline, a la BMW’s transformation of the X5 into the X6.

Mazda -Koeru -May -be -Mazda -CX-4-front -sidejpg“For BMW it makes a business case, but it is not a direction that Mazda will adopt,” he said.

Instead, the Koeru sees Mazda capitalizing on the increasing trend away from its core Mazda 3 model and into SUVs.

Mazda -Koeru -May -be -Mazda -CX-4-rear“Our product sales have been heavily reliant on Mazda 3,” Koizumi said. “Those customers may push us in a new direction. That is the thinking behind this new crossover concept.”

Moro said that the Koeru will appeal to customers that enjoy the space of the Mazda 3, want an SUV but find the CX-3 too small – and the CX-5 too conventional.

“So CX-4 or CX-6 or whatever you call it, it will be a more sporty and sophisticated execution,” Moro said.

Mazda -Koeru -May -be -Mazda -CX-4-rearWhile the Koeru will easily accommodate the updated SkyActiv petrol and diesel powertrains, it’s not likely that the low roof will make it to showrooms.

“Of course this is a show car … the design will evolve,” said Mazda chief designer, Iwao Koizumi. “The basic dimensions will change, going towards a more realistic mass production car.”

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