UPDATE: The specs and more photos are below (4/2).
Mazda easily had one of the most attractive booths at the Manila International Auto Show this year. Keeping with the brand’s global show branding of midnight black multi-level flooring, each car stood out on its own, tall and proud, effortlessly calling out to passers-by. And trust us – you will stop and find yourself weaving through the display like you just want to take them all home.
In true Mazda fashion, the presentation opened with the signature KODO “Soul Of Motion” design language, which is the philosophy of infusing art and life (hence, soul) into vehicle design. It was depicted in all the stage elements – the display stance of the vehicles, the blend of colors, the slow, sensual unveiling, and even the movement of the host as she glided across the platforms. All this, to debut three new models – the all-new CX-9 premium 7-seater crossover, the latest CX-5 five-seater crossover, and of course, the MX-5 RF with the retractable hardtop.
The all-new CX-9 was designed to deliver an unparalleled driving experience, coupled with a quiet air of sophistication. It’s all in the details. Aesthetically, the all-new CX-9 is as sensual as ever; sporting the signature curves and energy of the KODO design. The interior boasts of details and materials that define premium, while maintaining riding comfort.
Under the hood is the groundbreaking SKYACTIV-G 2.5T in-line four-cylinder gasoline engine that is matched with the proven SKYACTIV-DRIVE six-speed automatic transmission. This combo works cohesively with the predictive (and smart) i-ACTIV AWD system to direct torque to the rear wheels only when necessary. The 2.5L engine is also fitted with Mazda’s unique Dynamic Pressure Turbo.
Apart from the engine, the CX-9 comes loaded with state-of-the-art convenience features including a 12-speaker Bose sound system, adaptive LED headlights, Active Driving Display, power front seats, power tailgate, a moonroof, and 20-inch rims shod with 255/55R20 tires. The price for this kind of luxury is P 2,780,000.
On the flipside, the all-new CX-5 is all about the drive – which brings us back to Mazda’s jinba-ittai principle of a human-centered design approach, wherein man meets machine in a fluid combination. The CX-5 is made to deliver stability and comfort for both the driver and passengers. This design is rooted in the G-Vectoring Control (GVC) feature, the first system under the new SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS technologies. This system controls all-around forces that act on the car while it is moving by adjusting torque in response to throttle, braking, and steering. This technology results in reduced sideways motions of the cabin, making the ride and drive smoother.
There are three variants to the all-new CX-5: the FWD Pro, powered by the 2.0L SKYACTIV-G gasoline engine; the AWD Sport, with a 2.5L SKYACTIV-G gasoline engine; and the AWD Sport Diesel, powered by the 2.2L SKYACTIV-D turbocharged diesel engine. All variants feature the SKYACTIV-DRIVE automatic transmission and i-STOP engine idling stop function. The predictive i-ACTIV AWD system is present in all AWD variants.
The all-new 2017 CX-5 starts at P 1,550,000 for the FWD Pro going up to P 1,850,000 for the CX-5 AWD Sport, and P 2,200,000 for the top-of-the-line 2.2 Skyactiv-D AWD.
Finally, the spotlight turns to the sexiest convertible, the Mazda MX-5 RF. The RF version of the well-loved Miata is the fourth-generation of its kind, now featuring a hardtop retractable roof and fastback styling. More than for security, it aims to create a unique and more premium open-top driving experience that more people will embrace and appreciate. The RF maintains the unmatched sports car curvature that has been the signature of the MX-5 since its original model, only with enhanced elements – such as the release of the beautiful almost-matte gunmetal color variant that makes it more appealing to a wider audience.
The MX-5 RF is composed of the standard front, middle, and rear sections, and the back window glass. With the top down, everything save for the rear roof section is stowed behind the seats. This creates a unique design feature that is not common among other hardtop convertible models; the driver gets to experience open-top driving, but with the secure feeling of being solidly inside the cabin.
Power comes solely from a 2.0-liter SKYACTIV-G engine and the only transmission of choice is a 6-speed automatic. The MX-5 RF starts at P 2,180,000 and tops out at P 2,250,000.
Words by Gen Tiu.