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Mazda Minagi (2011) at 2011 Geneva motor show

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 00:00:00 -0800

Mazda is preparing the ground to launch a new CX-5 – a junior crossover to slot beneath the CX-7. The Mazda Minagi concept car is being launched at this week’s 2011 Geneva motor show and previews the production car expected this autumn.

But as well as heralding a new junior crossover in the Mazda fold, the Minagi also showcases the company’s new Skyactiv engineering philosophy and Kodo design mantra. They do love a good grand title at Mazda, don’t they…

Mazda Minagi: all about Skyactiv and Kodo

Don’t dismiss these as mere frippery. The Skyactiv system is Mazda’s new lightweight eco strategy – each new model is expected to come in at around 100kg lighter than before, with fuel saving tech and new lightweight bodyshells and architectures. And remember the Mazda Shinari? That’s the style direction the company’s heading in, and the Minagi is the latest expression of that Kodo design language – in pumped-up, SUV form.

‘I wanted to convey something different from the Mazda Shinari,’ said Masashi Nakayama, chief designer. ‘I felt a compact crossover SUV was the perfect vehicle to express agility and focused movement; the flexibility of four limbs moving in unison, and an upright posture.’

It’s a slick looking bit of design, but are we alone in seeing a lot of mid-sized crossovers converging? This is similar to parts of the Kia Sportage and Ford Kuga, especially that kicked-up C-pillar.

When will the CX-5 actually appear?

Not until next year. We’d expect it on sale in spring 2012 after a debut in late 2011. On first acquaintance, we’d say it’s shaping up to be a slick addition to the Mazda fold.


By Tim Pollard