Frankfurt motor show 2011 - Mazda CX-5

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Mazda’s CX-5 SUV is the start of a new era for the brand. It heralds new styling for the company’s cars and introduces innovative technology designed to make them more efficient.

We've already driven the CX-5, but the production version makes its full debut at Frankfurt.

The CX-5 is the first production model to showcase Mazda’s ‘Kodo’ design language, which features a ‘bolder family face’. As expected, the CX-5 is almost unchanged from the Minagi concept car that made its debut at the Geneva show in March this year.

Most prominent is a large front grille, edged by metallic trim that flows into the headlights. The CX-5’s dimensions are a close match for key rivals such as the Ford Kuga and Volkswagen Tiguan.

Compared with the Minagi concept’s, the CX-5’s interior is much more conventional, with a design that owes ?more to Mazda’s current production cars.

The CX-5 is the first model to be built using Mazda’s ‘Skyactiv’ technology, which is designed ?to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions through a combination of lightweight construction and all-new petrol and diesel engines.

The Skyactiv petrol engines have particularly high compression ratios, while the diesels have very low compression ratios, ?in the interests of increased efficiency. All have been engineered to provide strong torque at low revs.

There are new transmissions, too: a manual gearbox that’s lighter and smaller than the one it replaces and a new automatic ’box that Mazda says ‘combines all the advantages of conventional automatic, continuously variable (CVT) and dual-clutch transmissions’.

Extensive use of high-tensile steel and ‘ring structures’ in the construction lead to a body that, where comparable, ?is 8% lighter but 30% more rigid than before.

Initially, the CX-5 will be available with 2.0-litre petrol or 2.2-litre diesel engines. Mazda is aiming for CO2 emissions of less than 120g/km for the front-wheel-drive diesel model.

Prices haven’t been confirmed, but we’d expect them to start at around £21,000 when sales start ?in spring 2012.

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