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Rumors of a Mazda CX-50 emerged back in July 2020, but the gossip turned out to be only partially true. Yes, a CX-50 was officially confirmed earlier this month, but not as a CX-5 replacement as originally speculated. Instead, it will be a new addition to the range as a larger and more spacious alternative to the CX-5, much like the CX-30 sits above the CX-3.

Partially revealing patent images of the first-ever CX-50 made the Internet rounds last week, and it didn't take too long for someone with Photoshop skills to turn them into renderings. Still very much unofficial, the digital drawings from Kolesa should paint an accurate picture of what to expect from the real thing, which is set to make its official debut next month.

2023 Mazda CX-50 rendering

Mazda won't be rocking the boat in terms of exterior appearance as we are getting the impression it will be more along the lines of a variation of the CX-5's design. That's not necessarily a bad thing since we find the Kodo design language still quite appealing, although we prefer it on a sedan rather than an SUV but that's a matter of taste.

While Mazda is working on a family of rear-wheel-drive SUVs with inline-six gasoline and diesel engines as well as plug-in hybrid powertrains, the CX-50 is not on that list. The CX-60 through CX-90 belong to what the Zoom-Zoom company refers to as the “Large Product Group” whereas the CX-50 is part of the "Small Product Group."

It will be mechanically related to the Mazda3 and CX-30, meaning it will utilize the same front-wheel-drive-based platform with available AWD. The turbocharged 2.5-liter gasoline engine seems likely given the vehicle's larger footprint, therefore its increased weight. It could pump out an identical 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet (434 Newton-meters) of torque delivered through both axles provided the engine runs on 93-octane fuel.

Following its official debut in November, the US-only CX-50 will enter production in January 2022 at the new factory Mazda and Toyota are building in Huntsville, Alabama. There's no word regarding pricing, but it goes without saying it will command a premium over the CX-5, available from $25,370 for the base 186-hp engine with FWD. Just to get an idea about the potential price difference, the CX-30 is only $1,260 more expensive than the CX-3.

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