2017 Mazda CX-5 Front Quarter

According to California Air Resources Board (CARB) certification documents, the Japanese won’t be the only ones enjoying the gutsy turbo 2.5-liter that just landed in that country’s CX-5 crossover. The hotter inline-four would be just the thing to bring additional customers to Mazda’s best-selling model, and it seems the automaker’s U.S. arm has done the groundwork for a potential launch.

Getting the kids to daycare faster is nice, but the changes coming to Japan’s CX-5 aren’t solely about horsepower.

Of course, it’s still worth touching on. The Skyactiv-G 2.5T engine is already available in the U.S.-market CX-9 and as an upgrade in the Mazda 6, but this is the first application of the engine in Japan. Odd that they’re getting it first. From its well-aspirated innards comes 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque — a very healthy upgrade from the current 2.0-liter CX-5’s 156 hp and 150 lb-ft, as well as the 2.5-liter’s 187 hp and 186 lb-ft.

The CX-5 is universally regarded as the practical, mass-market crossover to own if you’re at all a driving aficionado. Mazda’s compact CUV earns high marks for its handling and looks, but not that many accolades for its power.

With the updates coming to Japan’s CX-5, Mazda covers both bases. In addition to the new engine, the automaker has added an upgraded torque vectoring system named G-Vectoring Control Plus. Besides tinkering with the torque sent to each wheel, GVC Plus adds braking to the stability system’s functions.

From Mazda:

GVC Plus uses the brakes to add direct yaw moment control for further enhanced handling stability. As the driver steers out of a corner by returning the steering wheel to the center position, GVC Plus applies a light braking force to the outer wheels, providing a stabilizing moment that helps restore the vehicle to straight line running. The system realizes consistently smooth transitions between yaw, roll and pitch even under high cornering forces, improving the vehicle’s ability to accurately track sudden steering inputs and crisply exit corners

To say the CX-5 is Mazda’s most important vehicle would be an understatement. In the U.S., sales of the CX-5 are more than double that of the next best-selling model (the 3 sedan and hatch). Over the first nine months of 2018, the CUV’s volume rose 26.1 percent, outselling the other model by 65,432 units.

[Image: Chris Tonn/TTAC]



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