Rumors of a Mazda CX-50 emerged in July 2020, but the gossip has only been partially true. Yes, a CX-50 was officially confirmed earlier this month, but not as a replacement for the CX-5 as originally planned. Instead, it will be a new addition to the lineup as a bigger and more spacious alternative to the CX-5, much like the CX-30 sits above the CX-3.
Partially revealing patent images of the very first CX-50 hit the internet last week, and it didn’t take too long for someone with Photoshop skills to turn them into renderings. Still very unofficial, the digital drawings of Kolesa should paint a clear picture of what to expect from the real thing, which is set to make its official debut next month.
Mazda is not going to rock the boat in terms of outward appearance, as we suspect it will be more of a variant of the CX-5 design. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since we find the Kodo design language still quite appealing, although we prefer it on a sedan over an SUV but that’s a matter of taste.
While Mazda is working on a family of rear-wheel-drive SUVs with six inline gasoline and diesel engines as well as plug-in hybrid powertrains, the CX-50 is not on this list. The CX-60 to CX-90 belong to what the Zoom-Zoom company calls the “large product group”, while the CX-50 is part of the “small product group”.
It will be mechanically linked to the Mazda3 and CX-30, meaning it will use the same front-wheel drive platform with all-wheel drive available. The 2.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine seems likely given the larger footprint of the vehicle, hence its increased weight. It could pump an identical 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet (434 Newton-meters) delivered by both axles provided the engine is running on 93-octane fuel.
Following its official debut in November, the US-only CX-50 will go into production in January 2022 at the new plant that Mazda and Toyota are building in Huntsville, Alabama. There’s no word on pricing, but it goes without saying that it will be superior to the CX-5, available from $ 25,370 for the base 186-horsepower engine with front-wheel drive. Just to get an idea of the potential price difference, the CX-30 costs only $ 1,260 more than the CX-3.