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What I find most interesting about this article is simply its explanation of Mazda's naming schemes.


SUV to make production
07 June 2005

When Mazda's Crossport was first seen, many said it was gorgeous to look at but unlikely to reach production. Guess what – they're going to build it anyway, says Dave Moore.

When I first saw Mazda's Crossport show car, I felt I was in good company, for on that day I was rubbing shoulders with such luminaries in the motor-noting field as editors from Road and Track, Autocar, Motor Trend and Car and Driver. At Mazda's Hiroshima headquarters, under pain of death not to sketch or photograph the car, we were told the so-called Crossport show car was a design exercise only.

This came from none-other than Moray Callum, Mazda's engaging and supremely talented Scottish-born design chief, who said that if we liked it enough and the public did too, then it "might, repeat might" get into production.

Nearly all of us thought the car was gorgeous, but couldn't see how, with Mazda's available engines and drivetrains, they could do the muscular beauty justice.

Well, Mazda's North American Operations (MNAO) obviously thought our reaction and those at the 2005 North American International Auto Show in Detroit were sufficiently positive to sanction sign-off for production of the vehicle, which will be named, or rather numbered: CX-7.

"Mazda President Hisakazu Imaki is committed to bringing new products to market," says Jim OSullivan, president and CEO, MNAO.

Cut through the company-speak and you can read that as: "We're going to build it, and there are more to come."

Featured at several car shows during the past few months, the Crossport received high praise from the public for its exterior styling and interior.

The CX-7, which will be built in Japan, will pick up many of the concept's design themes when it goes into production in 2006. It will be launched first in the North American market, although Mazda will investigate launch feasibility for other markets. Mazda says additional product information about the CX-7 would be made available as the year progresses.

Mazda has taken the opportunity of the CX-7's launch to explain its model- naming strategy. Crossover type, sport utility vehicles will carry the CX designation – as in Mazda CX-7 – rotary-engined sports cars will carry the RX designation (RX-8) and piston- engined sports cars the MX designation (MX-5, as on the new 2006 Mazda MX-5).

Core production vehicles will continue to carry the name Mazda and a number, based on vehicle size (Mazda2, Mazda3, Mazda5, Mazda6). The established Tribute, MPV and the B-Series ute will continue with their own nomenclature until they are replaced.
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