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2023 Mazda CX-5 successor caught in public! New Toyota RAV4 rival to get inline six-cylinder engine and rear-wheel-drive options to push upmarket

This ‘CX-50’ prototype was sprung near Mazda North America’s head office. (Image credit: TFLcar)

Mazda’s replacement for the current CX-5 mid-size SUV has been caught in public ahead of its big debut, which will be headlined by not only new inline six-cylinder engines, but also a fresh rear/all-wheel-drive platform.

Four spy shots, published by TFLcar, show an all-but-confirmed camouflaged development mule of the CX-5 successor, which is tipped to be named CX-50 as part of Mazda’s new two-pronged attack on the Mid-size SUV segment.

As reported, the second-generation CX-5 is expected to carry on indefinitely with its four-cylinder engines and front/all-wheel-drive platform following the fresh CX-50’s alleged launch in December next year.

This strategy was hinted at in January by Mazda Australia managing director Vinesh Bhindi, who explained the Japanese would continue to offer “mainstream value propositions” while “pursuing into premium territory” as part of its business expansion.

That said, the thinly disguised prototype, spotted near Mazda North America’s head office in Los Angeles, showed the CX-50 to be more of an evolution over the CX-5 when it comes to exterior design.

  • 2023 Mazda CX-50 (Image credit: TFLcar) 2023 Mazda CX-50 (Image credit: TFLcar)
  • 2023 Mazda CX-50 (Image credit: TFLcar) 2023 Mazda CX-50 (Image credit: TFLcar)
  • 2023 Mazda CX-50 (Image credit: TFLcar) 2023 Mazda CX-50 (Image credit: TFLcar)

The same won’t be true under the bonnet, where the CX-50 will be available with petrol and diesel straight-six options, 48V mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of which will be on offer to take on the best-selling Toyota RAV4.

For reference, the successors to the existing Mazda6 mid-size car and CX-8 and CX-9 large SUVs are set to get the same underpinnings as the CX-50. In fact, the former will reportedly be revealed first, in April next year.