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.