Is the Mazda Koeru Frankfurt motor show concept the next CX-9?

Mazda Koeru concept crossover

Evolution of Kodo design language previewed in slippery five-seat crossover

Mazda unveiled the Koeru concept on the floor of the Frankfurt motor show, a crossover looking very production-ready. But Mazda claims the Koeru, which means “exceed” or “go beyond” in Japanese, is purely a concept, one that’s meant to preview the evolution of the company’s Kodo design language. At least that’s what the company is telling everyone.

“The Mazda KOERU demonstrates Mazda’s unique and daring interpretation of a crossover vehicle, proposed for the fast-growing crossover market,” the company said in a statement accompanying the reveal of the concept car. “Featuring the full suite of Mazda’s new-generation SKYACTIV technologies and designed under the KODO—Soul of Motion design language, the concept offers sporty yet delightfully refined styling and driving performance.”

Concept crossovers typically do not debut at major auto shows without a reason or a production version in mind, and the Koeru may well preview a replacement for the CX-9, which the company is due to update after rolling out the new CX-3 and updating the CX-5.

Mazda Koeru concept rear

The Koeru is a five-seater with an overall length of 181.1 inches, making it just a few inches longer than the current CX-5. It would need another 17 inches of length to be considered a replacement for the CX-9, though Mazda  wouldn’t have any trouble scaling it up a bit when the time is right.

Mazda is staying mum on what exactly is powering the Koeru, mentioning only that it features the company’s SKYACTIV suite of powertrain tech. The official line is that the Koeru is more about previewing packaging and design rather than being a prototype for an impending vehicle, though it should be noted that there is nothing outlandish about the proportions — the concept crossover is devoid of exagerrated details that would signal purely a design exercise.

Mazda Koeru concept side profile

Mazda has focused on aerodynamics in creating the Koeru concept, spending time to optimize airflow over the upper body. The underside of the concept has also been engineered with minimizing air turbulence in mind. The company also boasts greatly reduced NVH levels in the concept, though of course it’s difficult to gauge these sorts of things on the floor of an auto show. The sum of the elements, however, points to a vehicle headed to production.

We’ll have to wait for a follow-up at the next major auto show, though it may not be as soon as the Tokyo motor show at the end of October.

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