Mazda CX-7 - Designing the Sports Crossover - VIDEO ENHANCED

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
Click PLAY button below to watch a musical video clip of the CX-7

• Mazda CX-7 design team adopts ‘European sports car’ visual themes

• CX-7 styling elements also reflected by Mazda RX-8 and new Mazda2

LONDON - June 30, 2007: When Mazda presented the MX-Crossport concept car at the 2005 Detroit Motor Show media and public feedback was universally positive. Within a few days, the design team, under the direction of Chief Designer Iwao Koizumi, went to work to develop the production version: the new Mazda CX-7, a high-performance sports crossover vehicle with sports utility practicality and genuine Zoom-Zoom spirit.

The design story of this unique vehicle was to a significant degree, European‑inspired. One personal experience that Koizumi-San used to develop his design from a global perspective was his first encounter with European sports cars.

“I have a vivid memory from when I was a boy, not quite 10 years old. In France, I saw the 1967 Le Mans 24-hour endurance race and I remember being rooted to the spot as the leading Ferrari P4, Porsche 907 and Ford GT40 came round the track battling three-abreast at some points for lap after lap,” enthused Koizumi.

“When I became old enough to drive that amazement grew into a deep respect for the European sports car culture. This feeling is infused into the Zoom-Zoom ethos I bring to designing cars now.”

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

The design brief for the CX-7 was to deliver a ‘sports crossover with SUV-style functionality’, so the team began by consolidating the definition and image of a true sports car. Koizumi gathered Mazda’s designers together and brainstormed all the design themes that make a driver feel ’this is a sports car’. It is interesting to note that the thoughts and images produced by the designers clearly drew a lot of influence from Europe, where there is a vibrant and enduring sports car tradition.

“There are so many genres, traditions and conventions that the image of a sports car can vary greatly from person to person. I believe that through our research we managed to come up with a universal definition of a sports car that would be loved by drivers all around the world. I believe this process was fundamental to the successful design of the Mazda CX-7 production car,” added Koizumi.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

The resulting combination of form and design language transforms the CX-7’s larger proportions using a host of features to signify its sporty credentials. Its A-pillar is steeply angled and flows seamlessly into the roof line, which then breaks downward relatively early, over the B-pillar, to slope over the C-pillar and down into the D-pillar, finishing with a short rear end and roof-edge spoiler.

Other sporty design cues include a kick-up beltline in the profile and deep character lines over the bonnet, placed slightly inward to make room for muscular front fenders – echoing a theme used in the design of the Mazda RX-8 and new Mazda2. At the rear, round elements (lamps and large tailpipes) pay homage to a visual theme that has been admired by automotive fans for more than three decades on glamorous Italian sports cars.

Mazda CX-7’s interior design also features elements of ‘sports car’ appeal. The driving position, with a wrap-around cockpit and a high mounted gear shift, was inspired by studies of modern European sports car interiors. Additional sporty touches include a large rev-counter and a speedometer scaled to 150mph, a leather steering wheel that replicates the wheel of the iconic Mazda MX-5 sports car and a six-speed gear shift.

Design contributes much to making the Mazda CX-7 a ‘sports crossover’. It is a new Mazda model which wears its athleticism with the same fashionable sophistication as the Mazda RX-8 sports coupe, with its large mouth, eyes and powerful shoulders. It’s a model that combines elements of European sports car design that have a timeless appeal, with the interior roominess, comfort and quality of a sports utility vehicle. Add Mazda’s 260ps high-performance DISI turbocharged engine and superior build quality and you have Mazda entering a new market segment at its innovative best.

Mazda CX-7 is already available to preorder via with first deliveries scheduled for September. In addition, a dedicated microsite provides essential information on the vehicle.

Home | Buyers Guides For Every Auto Make | New Car Buyers Guide | Used Car Super Search | Total New Car Costs | 2016-1993 Car Reviews Truck Reviews
1996-2016 Automotive News | TACH-TV | Media Library | Discount Auto Parts

Copyright © 1996-2016 The Auto Channel. Contact Information, Credits, and Terms of Use. These following titles and media identification are Trademarks owned by The Auto Channel, LLC and have been in continuous use since 1987 : The Auto Channel, Auto Channel and TACH all have been in continuous use world wide since 1987, in Print, TV, Radio, Home Video, Newsletters, On-line, and other interactive media; all rights are reserved and infringement will be acted upon with force.

Privacy Statement | Size Does Matter | Media Kit | XML SITE MAP | Affiliates

Send your questions, comments, and suggestions to

Submit Company releases or Product News stories to
Place copy in body of email, NO attachments please.

To report errors and other problems with this page, please use this form.

Link to this page: