Mazda Minagi (2011): first sketches of new SUV concept

Published: 19 January 2011

This is the Mazda Minagi, a new small crossover concept that Mazda will unveil at the 2011 Geneva motor show in early March.

The Mazda Miyagi?

No, not Mr. Miyagi, but the Mazda Minagi. It’s a concept car to hint at the Japanese company’s forthcoming small SUV. Expected to be dubbed CX-5, it’ll sit below the CX-7 and CX-9, as a competitor for the BMW X1, Land Rover Freelander and Ford Kuga.

It’ll be the second concept car (after the Shinari) under new design boss Ikuo Maeda, as the company moves on from Laurens van den Acker’s Nagare design. Mazda’s new company styling language is Kodo, which is all about the ‘soul of motion’. The Minagi isn’t Mazda’s first small SUV concept though: under van den Acker it unveiled the Hakaze.

What do we know about the Mazda Minagi?

Under the skin is Mazda’s next-generation of Skyactiv technology, which previews a whole host of new engines, transmissions, bodyshells and platforms that will start to appear in 2011 and help Mazda lower its fuel consumption average by 30% by 2015 (compared to 2008). Details on the exact spec of the Minagi are still scarce, but we do know all about the Skyactiv tech.

The new Skyactiv-body is 8% lighter and 30% stiffer thanks to the increased use of high-strength steels, and the suspension of the Skyactiv-chassis is 14% lighter. There’s no word on whether it’s a petrol or diesel engine under the bonnet of the Minagi, but the new Skyactiv-D engine features the lowest ever compression ratio (14.0:1) for a diesel, Mazda claims, and is 20% more efficient than its predecessor.

Conversely, Mazda also claims the same 14.0:1 compression ratio for its direct-injection Skyactiv-G petrol engine is the highest for a spark ignition engine, and reduces fuel usage by 15% while upping the torque output by 15%. As for the transmissions, the Skyactive-Drive auto is said to improve fuel economy by 7%, while the Skyactive-MT manual’s reduced internal friction does the same.

>> Click 'Add your comment' below and let us know what you think of the new Mazda Minagi

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy

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