Mazda teases all-new CX-8 three-row crossover SUV for Japan

It will go on sale before the end of the year in the automaker’s home market

Now, this is something we didn't see coming: Mazda is teasing a new crossover SUV called the CX-8.

The automaker says the new vehicle its first model for the Japanese market to seat more than five passengers. There is only one official photo available that shows the interior in a six-seat configuration — looking quite similar to the CX-9 sold in North America.

Offered with either six or seven seats, the CX-8 is expected to use the same platform as the CX-9, as the wheelbase is identical with that of its sibling — 2,930 mm. However, the new model is slightly shorter, narrower and smaller in height, measuring 4,900 mm/1,840 mm/1,730 mm, respectively.

As with all Mazda vehicles, the CX-8 features the full suite of SKYACTIV technologies and the KODO-Soul of Motion design language. It will offer a single engine choice: a 2.2-liter SKYACTIV-D clean diesel mated to a six-speed SKYACTIV-DRIVE automatic transmission.

The CX-8 will become Mazda's flagship SUV in Japan, where it will go on sale before the end of the year. According to some reports, it may become available in other Asian markets, just like the smaller CX-4.

If you're into Mazdas, check out our recent test with the Mazda6.