Photo credit: Mazda
Mazda appear the 2023 CX-50 aloof afore the Los Angeles auto show, with assembly slated to activate in January 2022.
The CX-50 has accepted all-wheel drive, with a turbo or non-turbo 2.5-liter inline-four, and a added asperous exterior.
Mazda took pains to get the administration appropriate and accomplish it feel like a Mazda, while still ensuring it was able of hitting the trails.
This one looks like it would be able off-road.
Mazda did a basic acknowledge of its new CX-50 bunched crossover November 15, instead of actualization it aboriginal at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Mazda says the CX-50 is “a absolutely new model,” but it fits into the aperture of a somewhat added rugged-looking adaptation of the CX-5 crossover. Appropriate now, the CX-5 is Mazda’s acknowledged agent in North America, and is what drives the company’s profits here, abundant like all manufacturers of bunched crossovers.
The new CX-50 will go into assembly in 2022 with accepted “i-Activ” all-wheel drive and your best of turbo or artlessly aspirated “Skyactiv” 2.5-liter fours. No official chat on the CX-50’s architectonics yet, but bethink that Mazda and Toyota active an acceding in 2015 to allotment anniversary other’s technology, and this agent will be congenital in a new Alabama branch aggregate with Toyota. Our colleagues at Car and Disciplinarian say it will ride on the Mazda3 platform, which is promisingly sporty. But that’s not official, so there’s still at atomic the achievability that it could ride on some anatomy of Toyota architecture, like maybe the RAV4 crossover. If it sits on a Mazda3, though, it could be fun. Which leads us to our capital point: A lot of anticipation went into how the CX-50 rides and handles and to how it will antithesis adventurous on-road amenities with off-road capability.
“We took a abnormally Mazda access to architecture a multi-purpose alfresco chance car,” said Dave Coleman, administrator of agent dynamics for Mazda North America. “Anytime you’re developing a agent for both on-road and off-road, you accept to amount out what compromises you appetite to accomplish amid those two surfaces. So we had to amount out area Mazda’s position should be on all this. To amount that out, I did a lot of camping trips as ‘research.’”
Photo credit: mp-curtet.1
Coleman spends as abounding weekends and weeks exploring the all-inclusive accessible spaces of Utah, California, and Colorado as he can and still accumulate his job, so he captivated up those little citation mark fingers aback he said the chat “research.” Indeed, Coleman recruited adolescent Mazda engineers and admiral to appear forth on the camping trips so that everybody would be on lath and adverse the aforementioned administration aback it came to anatomy affability decisions.
“We ample that the majority of your time is still spent on pavement,” Coleman said. “You’ll absorb a brace hundred afar active on the freeway (to get to your camping destination), a brace dozen afar on arced abundance roads, and again 10 or 20 miles, maybe, on clay at the actual end.”
As a result, Coleman and Mazda accomplished that compromising all of that on-road active aloof for a little bit of advance off-road doesn’t accomplish a accomplished lot of sense, abnormally if you’re Mazda, with its acclaimed ability in on-road handling. So while there were compromises, they were parsed intelligently amid on-road, area the majority of active takes place, and off-road, area the CX-50 will alone go allotment of the time. It’s a continued drive from Mazda HQ in Irvine to Utah, and it’s mostly on the Interstate.
Photo credit: mp-curtet.1
So what does Mazda do to administer administration and achievement in a agent that has to accomplish several tasks, including towing?
“We bound to get the best off-road achievement that we could after authoritative any compromises in the on-road active performance,” Coleman said. “You’ll admit the active dynamics as archetypal Mazda—really absolute and accustomed and intuitive. And that pays off not alone for the disciplinarian and their enjoyment, but for the abundance of the cartage as well. The way that we tune our cars to be automatic and accustomed to drive makes the disciplinarian bigger at driving, which makes the cartage added comfortable, beneath acceptable to acquaintance motion sickness. So already we had the on-road achievement perfected, we formed to aerate the off-road capability.”
That was done through the wonders of electronics with altered drive modes. Specifically, new Mazda Able Drive Select (i-DM) drive. But not in the way you ability expect.
“When best companies do a drive approach arrangement like this, they’re aggravating to accomplish anniversary drive approach audible and different, so the car behaves abnormally in anniversary mode. We affectionate of accept the adverse approach—Mazda has a actual constant active activating that we’re advancing and we appetite to accomplish abiding the car behaves consistently in all altered active conditions.”
The Mazda i-DM drive in the CX-50 has four altered modes. Action approach is aggressive for a activating active bearings aback you appetite the burke acknowledgment to be absolutely direct. For example, aback you let off the burke in accustomed mode, that agency you’re activity to alpha canoeing and it should upshift. In action mode, it agency you’re advancing into a bend and it should authority on to that accessory so that aback you ability the acme you accept absolute burke response.
If you accept a bivouac acquainted in, you’ll accept the advantage of appliance towing mode. In accession to alteration the about-face agenda on the manual to bout the added weight of a trailer, it additionally takes into annual the way the active dynamics of the car change aback you accept a agglomeration of argot weight, which lifts the adenoids of the car and unweights the advanced tires. To adverse this, Mazda turns up the G-Vectoring control; it weights the advanced tires abundant to get aback to the weight they would commonly accept on those tires in accustomed driving, so the council acknowledgment feels normal. The bivouac approach additionally preloads the all-wheel-drive arrangement a little bit for yaw damping.
But we were activity to altercate the off-road mode. The CX-50 has alone one off-road mode.
Photo credit: Mazda
“We’ve activated affluence of cartage with specific modes for specific surfaces,” Coleman said. “But while that seems agitative in the showroom, we begin it ambagious off-road, area real-world altitude consistently assume to be some cryptic aggregate of surfaces that acreage about amid the settings you’re allotment from. We durably accept the best able arrangement in the agent is the driver. So we focus on authoritative the agent acknowledge to the disciplinarian consistently and allegedly so they can focus on addition out the best way over an obstacle instead of academic which drive approach will do what they want. If you’re off the pavement, off-road approach is the one you want. It’s simple as that.”
When you avenue the artery on your way to adventure, the aboriginal apparent you hit is acceptable activity to be a alluvium road. There, the advanced tires don’t chaw as well. They accelerate about more. So…
“In off-road approach we abode this botheration two ways,” Coleman said. “First, we accomplish the turn-in acknowledgment added absolute by axis up the G-Vectoring ascendancy gain. Aback we about-face the wheels, it will about-face added weight to the advanced tires so they chaw artlessly and driver’s ascribe is responded to as they expect. And again we additionally anticipate the oversteer by agreeable the all-wheel drive arrangement a little bit, not to accelerate torque to the rear wheels, but to affix the advanced and rear auto so they try to go the aforementioned speed. This creates some yaw damping that keeps the appendage from sliding about as easily.”
That gets you bottomward the clay road. But what about acclivous clay roads?
“The abutting affair you ability appointment is a abrupt acropolis and maybe you ascend up it and you stop on the hill,” Coleman said. “So what we do in this mode, the abandoned is automatically aloft so that we accept a smoother alteration from abandoned to torque application. The ABS arrangement is additionally affianced and captivation the brakes, so that aback I let my bottom off the anchor we won’t cycle back. Then, of course, we accept the artlessly able torque of a Mazda engine—we use almighty ample engines, two-and-a-half liters, turbo or non turbo—that gives us a lot of torque appropriate off idle. And then, finally, our manual will commonly affectionate of lock up the torque advocate about immediately. Off-road we’re bigger off absolution added torque slip, we adjournment the torque advocate lockup. The slipperier torque advocate gives us a smoother ability commitment in this barrage action and lets us cycle over big obstacles added smoothly.”
What if it’s one of those acclivous clay sections with asperous surfaces, and what if there are those potholes in the dirt?
“Another affair you ability appointment on abrupt hills are these aslant account holes, those formed artlessly aback added cars circuit their tires. Anytime one annoy loses absorption and you’re off-road, if it goes into a dip, the car will angle into that dip and lift the adverse annoy aloof like a four-legged table on an asperous surface. So aback we see one annoy alpha to circuit in off-road approach we’ll automatically administer the anchor to that spinning annoy and to the one aslant adverse of it because we apperceive that that’s the one that’s activity to circuit abutting and that applying the anchor to those tires sends the torque area it needs to be—to the tires that are on the ground.”
And up you go.
It all sounds able and makes a continued cruise in a CX-50 article to attending advanced to, sounds like. Maybe aback the cars alpha advancing out abutting year, we’ll get Coleman to booty some of us columnist dopes on a camping campaign and acquisition out if it all works as able-bodied as he describes it.
Then we can try out the electrified adaptation of the CX-50 that’s advancing next. Not bright if that’ll be a PHEV, a BEV, or both, possibly appear in that order. In any case, the bunched chic will get a little bit added solid antagonism aback the CX-50 enters showrooms aboriginal abutting year.
Share your thoughts on the Mazda CX-50 and how able you anticipate it will be of arrest the clay in the comments below.
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