The new Mazda CX-5 has some nifty tricks up its sleeve. Strength, for starters. This compact crossover is the first vehicle to benefit from ultra-high tensile steel components with a – wait for it – 1,800MPa rating. Pardon? MPa, or megapascal, is the unit of measure that quantifies the strength of materials in tension. One MPa equals 145PSI. The new steel is not only strong – it is lightweight. This makes it the perfect choice for the CX-5’s bumpers. These rest at the furthest point from the vehicle’s centre of gravity. Less weight at these extremities improves handling, so this new Mazda should corner properly.
Having strong bumpers is clearly important but they need to be fairly pliant too. After all, the compression of components during an impact is a key safety feature of modern vehicles. Mazda has therefore extensively researched how bumpers deform on impact and created a design that absorbs energy more efficiently than previous configurations. Part of this process was to collaborate with Futaba Kogyo Co Ltd to optimise the welding techniques used during manufacture. Very clever stuff. The new Mazda CX-5 should also inherit the traditional Japanese strengths. These include reliability and ease of ownership.