Or will, soon, thanks to Mazda’s intention of turning out a zippy crossover vehicle called the CX-7. Due in showrooms for the spring of 2006, the 2007 Mazda CX-7 will be built on the Mazda 6 platform and is the production version of the Mazda MX-Crossport concept, which debuted at the 2005 North American International Auto Show. Other vehicles built on variations of the Mazda 6 are the 2007 Ford Edge crossover SUV, the 2006 Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan/Lincoln Zephyr sedans, and the 2007 Lincoln Aviator crossover SUV.
Based on early release photos and spy shots taken in the California desert, the 2007 Mazda CX-7 looks pretty close to the concept’s style, and carries with it several RX-8 design cues. That’s either good or bad, depending on what you think of the RX-8, but general consensus on the CX-7 seems to be positive. Highlights include prominent front fenders, A-pillars rooted at the body's front edge and Mazda’s signature five-point grille. The CX-7 will likely come with 18-inch aluminum wheels and tires.
Though the interior was not revealed to the press, Mazda officials claim that the CX-7 will have a three-dial instrument cluster, a sports car-inspired high-mounted shifter and “form-fitting” front bucket seats – depending on how large your “form” is, of course. There’s a 60/40 split rear seat and room for three adults in back. With the seat folded down, cargo space expands to 58.6 cu.-ft. That’s not much, even for a small SUV, and it’s in cargo volume where the CX-7 pays for its rakish roofline.
Mazda officials also claim that the thing will fly across the pavement, thanks to a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 244 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and is tuned to deliver 258 lb.-ft. of torque at a surprisingly low 2,500 rpm. Better still, all of the engine’s available torque is available up to the 5,000 rpm horsepower peak. Buyers will get to choose between front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions, and the CX-7 will also get Mazda’s six-speed automatic transmission. Despite the power ratings, Mazda expects the CX-7 to deliver an estimated 23 mpg. Safety features for the CX-7 include standard four-wheel disc ABS, stability control and traction control.
The 2007 Mazda CX-7 will be officially unveiled in January at the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Photos courtesy of Mazda North American Operations