The Mazda CX-9 may be on its farewell tour now the CX-90 is on Australia’s doorstep, but the brand has committed to offering the CX-8 three-row SUV alongside the upcoming CX-80 for the foreseeable future.
Speaking at the Australian launch of the new CX-60, Mazda Australia’s managing director Vinesh Bhindi told CarExpert the brand’s plan – at least for now – is to offer three SUV nameplates with three rows of seating.
“Our plan is to have three products that offer three rows of seating – CX-8, CX-80 and CX-90,” Mr Bhindi said.
“We have confirmed CX-9 will end towards the end of this year, so we’re expanding from a two-product portfolio offering three rows, to offering three nameplates with three-row options. That’s our plan for now.”
The as-yet unrevealed Mazda CX-80 will be the third of four new SUVs based on the Large Architecture, which features rear-drive (and AWD), inline six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines with 48V mild-hybrid technology, as well as a four-cylinder plug-in hybrid – a first for the Mazda brand.
Globally, the Mazda CX-60 and CX-80 feature slimmer bodies and overall dimensions better suited for the European and Japanese markets, while the CX-70 and CX-90 score wider bodies in line with North American tastes. The CX-70 hasn’t been revealed and, while under consideration for Australia, nothing has been confirmed.
Meanwhile, the CX-5 and CX-8 continue to be sold alongside the new Large Architecture-based CX-60 in Australia and Japan, albeit with exclusively four-cylinder powertrain line-ups, both having received recent facelifts and equipment updates.
The CX-8 was born of the need for a three-row flagship in Japan for Mazda, where the CX-9 is too large to be sold there. Australia is one of the few regions globally to offer both three-row SUVs. That’s also likely the case for the CX-80 and CX-90, given their distinctly different regional focuses.
In March, Mr Bhindi confirmed to CarExpert the CX-9 would be retired by the end of the year as remaining stocks dry up, in line with the global strategy to axe the long-serving flagship nameplate in favour of the new CX-90.
The Mazda CX-90 is due within a month’s time, with pricing and specifications already announced for the Australian market.
It’s expected the new Mazda CX-80 will be revealed before the end of the year, ahead of an Australian market launch anticipated for sometime in 2024.
Mazda Australia has also confirmed it will be launching the updated Mazda 2 and Mazda 3 compact cars in the coming months, and there’s potential for changes in the CX-30 compact SUV in line with the related 3 – though these have not been confirmed yet.
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