Mazda Koeru Frankfurt 1

The Mazda Koeru will be billed as a completely new entry – separate from Hiroshima’s current range of SUVs – when it does go into production, according to Automotive News. Its CEO Masamichi Kogai said that the new car, rumoured to be called the CX-4, won’t be marketed as a sportier variant of the CX-5 or CX-9 as previously thought, but will instead enter a new market segment for the brand.

“It’s a totally new car. It’s a lower, sporty SUV. It’s close to a wagon,” he said. “The CX-9 rides higher. So does the CX-3 and CX-5. [The Koeru] aims to generate more driving pleasure.”

Mazda Koeru Frankfurt 19

In fact, Kogai believes that the production Koeru, although sized similar to the CX-5, will more closely resemble the Subaru Outback wagon. “That kind of genre. We’d like to see how it is evaluated globally, so we are collecting customer feedback,” he said.

It may seem like a niche segment, but the market for rugged wagons is a surprisingly large one. Subaru sold 136,227 units of the Outback in the United States up to November this year, 9.8% up from the same period in 2014 – that’s more than all the CX-3s, CX-5s and CX-9s sold in November combined.

GALLERY: Mazda Koeru at Frankfurt 2015