Mazda readies three-row CX-8 crossover for Japan

Mazda already has a CX-9, and it's built in Japan, but it's not offered for sale there.

Mazda

What do you do if your home market needs a three-row crossover, but the only one you build is just a smidge too big? Well, if you're Mazda, you announce another three-row crossover.

Mazda previewed its all-new CX-8 crossover today, with a single teaser image showcasing its three-row look. The taper of the small side window leads us to believe that it'll have a somewhat swoopy roof design, which is not only in vogue but should help keep the CX-8's silhouette a bit more compact.

Nobody's seen the exterior yet, but there's no doubt that it will look pretty similar to Mazda's other new crossovers, like CX-5 and CX-9.

Mazda

The automaker claims the CX-8 will become its flagship crossover in Japan -- the biggest and best the company has to offer. While there is clearly a demand for a three-row Mazda in Japan that isn't a van (Mazda offers two vans over there), it appears the CX-9 doesn't fit the bill.

My sources have told me that the CX-9 might be a bit too big for Japan, so the CX-8 is meant to strike a balance. Based on the dimensions Mazda supplied, the CX-8 is 6 inches shorter and about 5 inches thinner than the CX-9, and its roof sits about 1 inch lower. Power will come from a 2.2-liter diesel engine mated to a six-speed automatic.

It seems like it will be more than a stretched CX-5, but we won't really know what's up until Mazda unveils the whole hog, which should happen later this year. It's slated to go on sale by the end of 2017.

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