Mazda spoke of expanding its line with a small crossover as far back as 2008, with such talk led by the appearance of the Kazamai Concept. According to Autocar, Mazda is preparing to have said "new small SUV" prepped for sale at the end of 2011. When it was mentioned two years ago, the idea was that the vehicle would help position Mazda as an aspirational brand; now it sounds like it could be extravagant design meeting frugal economy.
For Mazda, a CX-5 would provide an option in a segment it knows consumers are moving toward, and the vehicle being discussed could be a gas mileage champ. Mazda is reportedly boasting of a 100kg weight savings vs. the competitors (that's a not-insubstantial 220 pounds), as well as power from the company's already frugal Sky engines. Some whispers about three- and five-door versions have been recorded, but remember, for the moment these are all still whispered rumors, not facts.