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Mazda Fills in Holes With New CX-8 Announcement for Japan

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If there’s one thing you notice about Mazda’s crossover lineup, it’s that it tends to skip numbers. At the bottom is the CX-3, followed by the CX-5, and then the CX-9 at the top. That affords Mazda one helpful option should the brand decide to make new crossovers: the ability to fill in the gaps.

The latest fill-in candidate was just announced for the Japanese market: the Mazda CX-8. As you might expect, this means that the new SUV slots into the crossover lineup just below the full-size CX-9, although it will also be a three-row SUV. This will put the CX-8 at the top of the lineup in Japan, where the CX-9 isn’t sold due to being too large for Japanese roads. As such, the CX-8 is 6.4 inches shorter and 4.8 inches narrower than the CX-9, sitting at about the width of the CX-5 but with the same wheelbase as the CX-9.

The CX-8 is set to be powered by a turbocharged 2.2-liter SKYACTIV-D diesel engine connected to a six-speed automatic transmission. Although the company hasn’t released any images of what the exterior may look like, it promises that it will be designed using the brand’s KODO-Soul of Motion design language, so it will likely share its looks with the CX-5 and CX-9.

Mazda 2017 CX-9

Mazda did release a teaser image of the interior, showing seating for seven and a more sloped rear roofline.

Mazda CX-8 interior teaser

The CX-8 is apparently slated to go on sale by the end of the year.

News Sources: CNET Roadshow, Motor Trend