Mazda Australia has announced that the previously ‘Japan-only’ CX-8 seven-seat SUV will make its way to Australia to slot in alongside the existing seven-seat CX-9.
Though the two may seem close in concept and format - with both sharing a 2930mm wheelbase, the stand-out difference for the CX-8 will be its 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine, with the CX-9 available exclusively with a 2.5-litre turbo petrol engine.
Mazda has confirmed the new model will arrive in Australian showrooms from the second half of 2018 and will confirm full pricing and specifications for the new model closer to launch.
Originally only designed for the Japanese market, Mazda Australia CEO Vinesh Bhindi went so far as to rule it out for Australia in May 2017, but did suggest at the time that if a version were made available for Australia the brand would consider adding it.
The lack of a diesel engine for the CX-9 certainly improved the CX-8’s chances of an Australian introduction, with diesel power for the North American-centric CX-9 unlikely to be added in the current generation.
“More and more, Australians are opting for larger SUV’s to suit the demands of their busy lives; the Brand-New Mazda CX-8 Diesel is the perfect fit for those who need the versatility of seven seats and the economy that diesel affords,” said Bhindi.
Mazda has revealed the dimensions of the CX-8 previously, revealing it is longer than the CX-5 but the same width. Overall it is 350mm longer than the CX-5 with a 230mm extension of the wheelbase to accommodate the extra seats. Next to a CX-9 the new model is 129mm narrower and 175mm shorter overall.
The CX-8 will be powered by the 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel currently used in the CX-5, although Mazda has yet to confirm if the new model will feature the 140kW/450Nm output of the Japanese version or the 129kW/420Nm output of the CX-5.
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