Mazda presented the new CX-50 crossover as a big brother to its bestselling CX-5 in the same compact-crossover segment, giving the newer vehicle more of an off-road focus.
The CX-50 will be built at Mazda's recently completed assembly plant in Huntsville, Ala. The facility is a joint venture with Toyota, which is building the unrelated Corolla Cross at the facility.
When the CX-50 launches in the U.S. market next year, it will come with the same powertrain options as the CX-5: a standard 2.5-litre engine or a turbocharged option mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
"In the coming years, the CX-50 will also be offered with electrified powertrains, including a traditional hybrid model," the automaker said in a statement Monday.
Mazda is also giving all of its crossovers all-wheel drive as standard, seeking to distinguish itself as a more premium brand. Traditionally, Mazda has stressed its superior driving dynamics on the pavement, but the CX-50 is jumping on the industry trend toward greater off-road capability.
"This new Mazda vehicle has been developed for North America, particularly to support the active and outdoor lifestyles of customers in this region," said Jeff Guyton, CEO of Mazda North American Operations. "The CX-50 encourages people to immerse themselves in nature without compromising on the premium design and outstanding on-road performance Mazda is known for."
Mazda has also adapted its Kodo design language to the CX-50's outdoor focus.
"The sleek, long silhouette and wide stance help give the vehicle dynamic proportions that balances design elements that are geared toward outdoor ruggedness," Mazda said. "A new panoramic moonroof, a first for Mazda, helps the occupants feel more connected to nature."
Mazda said pricing would be announced closer to the vehicle launch. Production is planned for early January.