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Mazda CX-8 2019 gets petrol power in Japan

The recently released CX-8 large SUV is exclusively powered by a 2.2-litre twin-turbo diesel engine, for now.

Mazda Australia could release two petrol powertrains to its CX-8 seven-seater, following a model-year update which has already been confirmed for the Japanese domestic market.

Released locally this year, the CX-8 is currently a diesel-only proposition, with the petrol-powered CX-9 offered alongside it in the Mazda SUV line-up.

Specifically, the CX-8 is motivated by a 2.2-litre twin-turbocharged diesel unit that delivers 140kW/450Nm.

Soon, Japanese buyers will have access to two 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engines, one borrowed from the CX-5 medium SUV producing 140kW/252Nm, while the other is taken from the CX-9 large SUV upping the ante to 170kW/420Nm by way of a turbocharging system.

In either case, a six-speed automatic transmission transfers power to the front- or all-wheel-drive drivetrains.

The Japanese carmaker's local arm has yet to confirm if it plans to bring the two petrol units to market, with Mazda Australia senior manager of public relations Sonia Singh telling journalists the firm doesn't have "any updates to announce at this stage".

Given that petrol is offered with the similar CX-9, it seems unlikely Mazda would bring the same to Aussie CX-8s.

The CX-9 is not available in Japan, and so it stands to reason that it would offer a wider range of powertrain options for its single large SUV.

While the new engines may not arrive Down Under, the CX-8 will likely be treated to the other model-year updates that include improved dynamics and upgraded equipment levels.

For the update, the CX-8 gains 'G-Vectoring Control (GVC) Plus', which applies light braking to the outside wheels when exiting a corner for increased stability.

The auto emergency braking system has also been improved to now detect pedestrians at night, and new interior features include a surround-view camera, ventilated front seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster and a frameless rearview mirror.

On the outside, newly designed 17- and 19-inch alloy wheels have been added.

Current pricing for the Mazda CX-8 starts at $42,990 plus on-road costs for the front-wheel-drive Sport, up to $61,490 for the all-wheel drive Asaki.

Should Mazda add petrol power to its CX-8 line-up? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.