Mazda CX-5 Concepts

We at Autoblog do love us some Mazda CX-5 – it is, without a doubt, the best-driving compact crossover in the segment. And since 2013 is the CX-5's first model year here in the States, it only makes sense that Mazda has used the 2012 SEMA Show to give us an idea of just how far its CX-5 can reach in terms of design and functionality.

First up is the CX-5 180, ready to hit the beach with its attached Rusty surfboard or take to the slopes with a Burton Cheetah snowboard. Its blue-and-black color scheme features a topographical map graphic of southern California hot spots like Big Bear Lake and Point Dume. Other upgrades include black chrome 20-inch wheels wrapped in Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, and a new matte red finish along the grille adds a funky accent to the front fascia. Inside, aqua leather has been fitted to many of the CX-5's touchable surfaces, and there are contrasting bright white leather inserts on the door panels, seats and steering wheel.

Moving on to darker tones, the CX-5 Dempsey – named for Mazda racing driver and Dr. McDreamy Patrick Dempsey – shows the first application of the automaker's 2.2-liter Skyactiv-D diesel engine on a North American-spec CX-5, mated to a six-speed manual transmission. (Well-placed foreshadowing, we hope.) Like the 180, the Dempsey CX-5 rides on dark chrome 20-inch wheels, and its paint scheme is meant to mimic the high-performance, competitive architecture of the specialized bicycle racer – cycling is one of Dempsey's big interests, after all. To that end, there's a Thule T2 carrier holding an S-Works Tarmac SL4 Red bike that features a carbon fiber frame with red highlights.

Last, but certainly not least, is perhaps our favorite of the CX-5 concepts. In terms of design, anyway. The CX-5 Urban might simply look like it's painted in a matte finish, but upon closer inspection, you'll see the multi-dimensional shadows with triangular patterns woven into the paint finish. It's seriously cool, as are the extended wheel flares that house new 22-inch matte black wheels.

Scroll down for the full details, and click through the attached image galleries for views of all three CX-5s from every angle.
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CX-5 180

Southern California has a way of being everything for everyone with its rare ability in acting like a four-season play palace – all in the same day. From the ocean sand to the sandy desert, from the high altitudes to the low lands, this Western region is an adventurer's paradise. Here enters the CX-5 180. Can't decide what to do with your "lazy" Sunday? Do it all. Really. This CX-5 won't mind. Designed to go with the flow, whether your plans be set in stone or a last-minute "Why not," the CX-5 180 is up for any task.

Outfitted with Burton Cheetah snowboards for surfing the slopes and a Rusty surfboard for shredding the surf, the CX-5 180 features a stylized topographical map of SoCal locales Big Bear Lake and Point Dume. Seasonal statistics for the snow and surf hot spots are featured on the front doors to include temperature highs and lows, snowfall and surf rise as well as the all-important digits of GPS coordinates. Big Bear Lake's snowy summit is featured along the left side of the vehicle with equipment-appropriate snowboards up top while Point Dume's depth details sprawl along the right-hand side with the painted-to-match surfboard topping the chart.

Highlighted by custom-crafted colors, the mapping components featured on the CX-5 180 include dark hues of Midnight and Denim to reflect depth while lighter shades of Tidal Blue and Bay Blue signify height. Dashes of Luminous Red are used across the entire vehicle to indicate roads. Rough or paved, the all-wheel-drive system of the CX-5 180 allows it to maneuver wherever the trail may lead. The same red makes its way onto select spokes of the Mazda Design custom-built 20-inch black chrome alloy wheels, which are wrapped in all-season Goodyear Eagle® F1 Asymmetric 265/40R20-sized tires for added stability and style. A custom matte red finish replaces the stock chrome of the vehicle's five-point grille and continues into the headlamps for added aggressiveness. A satin chrome dual exhaust by Racing Beat adds a finishing touch.

The functional mobility of the CX-5 180's exterior translates perfectly into the comforts of its interior. Exterior-complementing Aqua interior leather is fitted onto the front and rear seats, the steering wheel, door panels, armrests and the brake boot. Contrasting Bright White leather inserts appear on the door panels, steering wheel and seats. French seam accents in red and white stitching appear on armrests and seats, with the red reflecting the exterior's accents representing roads and trails. A customized trapezoidal stitching pattern is detailed on the steering wheel, which is marked by a subtle white leather strip at the high-noon position. A custom-painted decoration panel in the topography theme of the exterior adds the final touch to the ebb and flow of the CX-5 180, creating a 360-degree perspective of the vehicle's flexibility, regardless of how contradictory the day's activities could be.

CX-5 Urban

With a quick glimpse, the CX-5 Urban appears to be merely shrouded in a matte finish. First impressions have never been more deceiving. Heavily influenced by design, the vision for the CX-5 Urban was inspired by styles found in fashion and architecture. With a Mazda Design-developed custom paint process, the dark surface of the CX-5 Urban features multi-dimensional shadows with each triangular-like design shaped to reflect each bend and twist of the vehicle's sheet metal. Utilizing the KODO "Soul of Motion" design language of the production model, the Mazda Design team translated this initial blueprint into seemingly flat, black surfaces that evoke depth at just the slight hint of light.

The attention to detail is nothing short of stellar as no two shades of Black Mica touch. For added refinement without deviating from the stealth-like quality of the CX-5 Urban's dark night appearance, Ore facets appear as thin pinstripes on matte paint surfaces, as an accent outlining the matte black wheels, as a precision feature in the headlamps and as a change of shade to the five-point front grille.

To further sculpt the aggressive nature of the CX-5 Urban are customized wheel flare extensions which perfectly envelop the well-matched pairing of muscular 22-inch Ace Alloy Scorpio matte black wheels and sticky Nitto Tire NT420s 295/30R20 all-season tires. The CX-5 Urban also features a Racing Beat dual exhaust.

CX-5 Dempsey

The CX-5 Dempsey not only features actor and race car driver Patrick Dempsey's name but it was developed with his competitive passions in mind – motorsports and cycling, to be more specific. Throughout his professional racing career, Dempsey and Mazda Motorsports have been familiar friends with Dempsey seeing seat time behind the wheel of an RX-8 in the GRAND-AM Rolex Series. Sleek, sporty and stylishly dressed to take care of business, the CX-5 Dempsey features a high-contrast custom paint scheme of glossy grays and matte blacks with bright red highlights. Outfitted with a Specialized Bicycle S-Works Tarmac road bike and a Thule Atlantis rooftop cargo box, no road is unexplorable, whether it be a mountain trail or Manhattan traffic. Under the hood lurks a European-specification SKYACTIV-D 2.2-liter clean diesel engine to power the all-wheel-drive system, meaning no road is a challenge either.

The high-power clean diesel offers a low 14:1 compression ratio with an output of 129 kW at 4,500 rpm and 420 nM of torque at 2,000 rpm. Mated to a SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission, the CX-5 Dempsey offers racing-inspired dynamics and down-right driving fun – two things usually lacking in the compact SUV segment. The vehicle sits on Mazda Design-customized 20-inch black chrome alloy wheels encased in Michelin Latitude® Sport 255/45ZR20-sized all-season tires. Each wheel is highlighted with a single double-spoke painted in glossy Luminous Red, a color used in a limited fashion yet makes an appealing visual impact to the CX-5 Dempsey. Satin chrome touches in the Racing Beat dual exhaust complete the athletic ensemble.

The exterior color scheme was developed in coordination with the high-performance, competitive architecture of the Specialized Bicycle road racer. Secured to the rear of the vehicle via a Mazda factory hitch and Thule T2 carrier, the S-Works Tarmac SL4 Red features a Carbon Satin carbon fiber frame with Red Keyline highlights. To match, the CX-5 Dempsey is receives a glossy Anatomy Gray paint base with thick strips of striking Brilliant Black. Luminous Red graphic lines separate the dark layers as Bright White borders and "CX-5" decals emblazon expansive surfaces such as the doors, hood and cargo box. A Black Mica matte finish details the entire tailgate and continues across the lower portion of the vehicle as well as along the roofline to complete the bicycle's Carbon Satin look into the front hood. The design theme evokes a rugged functionality and tempered finesse.

The composed aggression is maintained throughout the interior as well. Black perforated leather inserts are nestled within gray aniline leather bolsters featuring red accents which correlate directly with exterior graphics. All leather wrapped, the steering wheel, shifter boot, armrests, door panels, center storage bin as well as front and rear seats feature contrasting Luminous Red stitching. The full-length decorative panel is custom painted in glossy Brilliant Black and features a single Luminous Red outline with a Bright White vehicle model imprint. The CX-5 Dempsey conveys the ambition and awareness that beats within the heart of any competitor, regardless of the race route.