The name is not a surprise, nor its looks. That’s because Mazda came up with the Minagi Concept earlier this year in March, before confirming that the production car will be called CX-5 a month later. Now, the Mazda CX-5 compact crossover is previewed ahead of its world debut at September’s Frankfurt show, and it retains much of the Minagi’s looks.

To slot under Mazda’s CX-7 and CX-9 SUVs, the CX-5 will be a milestone model for the Hiroshima based carmaker. This is because it will be the first of a new generation of Mazda products that will adopt the full range of SkyActiv tech, and also the brand’s new design theme, Kodo.

Kodo, which means Soul of Motion, was first shown via the four-door coupe Shinari Concept of 2010, replacing the Nagare look of today’s production Mazdas.

Mazda’s SkyActiv tech encompasses fuel efficient gasoline and diesel engines, manual and automatic transmissions, as well as body and chassis. They try to think out of the box for SkyActiv – an example is the record high 14:1 compression ratio in direct-injection petrol engines, accompanied by a range of anti knock measures, that delivers 30 km/l in a 1.3-litre Mazda 2.

Sitting on a new modular platform and suspension set-up, the CX-5 will feature a SkyActiv-G 2.0L gasoline engine and a SkyActiv-D 2.2L diesel, available in “Standard Power” and “High Power” variants. Both engines also sport the magic 14:1 compression ratio for ideal efficiency, a very high figure for petrol and a very low figure for diesel. The CX-5’s oil burner puts out 173 bhp and 420 Nm of torque.

“Exceptional environmental performance” was a main focus here, and the 2.2 diesel is set to emit less than 120g/km of CO2, which is a very good figure for an SUV.

The CX-5 will be progressively introduced to global markets from early 2012. More pics after the jump.

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