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FRANKFURT -- Mazda gives us a forward look at the larger end of its lineup with the Koeru crossover SUV concept, debuting here at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
The Koeru stretches the latest iteration of Mazda's Kodo design language over a larger frame.
Unsurprisingly, the overall design looks a lot like what we've seen on the current CX-3 and CX-5 crossovers.
We expect that the Koeru is actually a preview of the upcoming Mazda CX-9 refresh, which will bow at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.
The steeply raked rear hatch raises concerns, as the CX-9 is a seven-passenger model. Could this concept actually be a preview of the return of Mazda's CX-7?
No mention has been made of powertrain or technologies, only that Mazda's SkyActiv suite of efficiency tech would be at work.
The footprint appears to be similar to that of the current CX-9, but the Koeru concept appears to have a lower roofline.
Blacked-out A-pillars create a floating roof illusion and a steeply raked design makes the Koeru appear athletic and compact.
21-inch wheels shod with Pirelli P-Zero tires mean that the Koeru at least has the grip to back up its sporty aspirations.
Forward illumination is provided by LED headlamps and daytime running lights.
Out back are familiar horizontal tail lights that flow into aggressively flared haunches.
With its latest crop of vehicles, Mazda has placed dual emphasis on efficiency and driving fun, tying the two imperatives together with lightweight construction.
We expect that the CX-9 previewed by the Koeru will be lighter than the outgoing model and potentially more compact.
Mazda has also showed that it's a brand that's not afraid to step down in power, so we may see an engine with smaller numbers than the CX-9's 273-horsepower 3.7-liter engine.
We'll expect to hear more about Mazda's plans for the Koeru later in the show and later this year.
Be sure to check out the rest of CNET's coverage of the 2015 Frankfurt auto show.
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