Wednesday June 15th, 2011 19:39 Mazda Reveals the CX-5 SUV

 

Just days after Mercedes announced it would be entering the SUV market with its M-Class, Mazda has revealed plans for its own new SUV, the CX-5. The Japanese car manufacturer hope that the CX-5 4X4 will be able to provide stiff competition in the compact SUV market for the Land Rover Freelander.

Although there are no official images of the CX-5 SUV as of yet, it is based on the Minagi concept car pictured above. It will be the first car to be produced under Mazda’s new SKYACTIV technologies, and will feature a new array of more efficient engines and transmissions.

With the use of SKYACTIV technologies, Mazda expect the new car to be a class leader for economy, emissions and performance. The CX-5′s 2.2-litre diesel engine will boast 173bhp and will produce less than 120g/km of C02. It is also 20% more economical than the current 2.2 diesel, and will be mated to a new six-speed manual transmission.

The CX-5 will be underpinned by a new lightweight modular chassis and suspension set-up. This set-up will also be used by Mazda as a base for a range of new models, ranging from a Mazda 3 to the CX-7. This flexibility is attained because of the new platform’s modularity.

The CX-5′s engine already meets Euro 6 emissions standards, and is also cheaper to build than today’s Euro 5 diesels, so it will be interesting to see whether this impacts on its price tag. Expected to be available in the UK from spring 2012, Mazda will be hoping that the CX-5 makes a big impression in the SUV market.

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Saturday June 11th, 2011 00:23 Mercedes Unveils New M-Class SUV

 

Yesterday, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the new M-Class SUV. Stylistically reminiscent of Mercedes’ saloon line-up, the new luxury 4X4 looks all set to provide a strong challenge to Range Rover in the SUV market. Featuring permanent all-wheel drive, as well as innovative driving dynamics systems and new chassis developments, the M-Class is expected to go on sale in April 2012.

Speaking at the unveiling of the new off-roader, Dr Thomas Weber, a member of Mercedes’ management board, said: “The M-Class embodies all the automotive experience that we have accumulated over 125 years and thus represents – in short – a quantum leap in terms of efficiency, safety, agility and design!”

With fuel consumption reduced by an impressive 25% from its predecessor, the M-Class is set to be the German carmaker’s most efficient off-roader yet. Mercedes will produce gas and diesel versions of the M-Class, these being the ML350 4Matic and the more environmentally friendly ML350 BlueTec. The BlueTec features a reworked 240-horsepower, 3.0-litre V6 engine, and comfortably meets EU6 emissions standards. With increased power and torque, the M-Class will comfortably be able to go from 0-62mph in under 10 seconds.

By making the new M-Class longer, wider and lower than its predecessor, Mercedes have ensured that the interior of the five-seater cabin is also roomier than previous models. The range of wood and leather finishes on offer should help to further enhance the feeling of luxury in the car’s interior.

Drivers looking to take the SUV off-road should be pleased by the fact that the M-Class features a comprehensive off-road programme as part of its standard equipment. This programme includes an off-road button that activates a special off-road transmission mode. A new ‘active curve system’ will also help to ensure that the body of the M-Class remains under tight control when it is cornering.

Although Mercedes has not yet confirmed prices for the M-Class, expect the luxury off-roader to be a popular choice for 4X4 enthusiasts upon its release in April 2012.

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