Mazda Motor Corporation has launched the CX-7 five-seat crossover SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) in Japan. The monthly sales target is 380 units.

The Japanese right-hand drive specification isn't much different from the LHD North American launch market layout: a 2.3-litre direct injection turbocharged I4 engine complemented by a six-speed 'activematic' automatic transmission.

Equipment includes dynamic stability control (DSC) safety technology to help prevent lateral skidding, a parking assist system (with a side monitor and rearview guide monitor), an immobiliser and burglar alarm, a 30GB hard-disk navigation system and cruise control as standard.

A choice of two model grades are available, the CX-7 and CX-7 Cruising, each with the choice of two- or four-wheel drive.

About 22,000 CX-7s were sold in North America in the six months from launch to the end of November.

Mazda announced this week that a large quantity damaged during shipment to the US on the Cougar Ace would be scrapped.