Mazda Koeru concept
Take a gander at Mazda’s lineup and two cars stand out—and not in a particularly youthful way. The current-generation Mazda 2 came to us in 2011, already midway through its life cycle. And the surprisingly still-satisfying CX-9 three-row crossover is a dinosaur holdover from Mazda’s FoMoCo days. We’ve already been told the new global Mazda 2 won’t be coming here—as the company would rather focus on the CX-3 compact crossover—which leaves the CX-9 as the next in line for a redesign. And that time may have finally come, if the Koeru concept is anything to go by.
It’s clear from the sketch released by Mazda ahead of the Koeru’s official debut at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show in September that the crossover is large. Just look at the stretch between those gigantic, concept-car-typical wheels. Mazda isn’t saying specifically what sort of vehicle the Koeru previews, but given that we expect to see the production version of the next-generation CX-9 at this year’s L.A. auto show in November, a Frankfurt debut of a like-styled concept would be well-timed to whet appetites for the new model.
Our intel suggests that the CX-9 will get all-new underpinnings and may use a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder shared with the upcoming Mazdaspeed 3 hot hatch. By Mazda’s own admission, the new CX-9 will be imbued with the same sultry Kodo design language as every other modern Mazda. To our eyes, the Koeru/CX-9’s extra length relative to other Mazdas really suits itself to Kodo’s flowing lines and sinewy bulges (design elements that manage to look great even on small, stubby vehicles like the CX-3 and new MX-5 Miata). Of course, final assessment will have to wait until we feast our eyes on Koeru in the metal in Frankfurt, but the outlook for Mazda’s geriatric three-row crossover looks good.