Mazda Motor plans to launch the CX-8 crossover SUV in Japan.

The new model, the first in a new generation model line in the county to have three rows of seating, will go on sale before the end of the year.

The latest generation line has the full suite of Skyactiv technologies and 'Kodo-Soul of Motion' design, and will be the flagship of Mazda's SUV range in Japan.

"Our latest offering, the CX-8 is a new crossover SUV for people who appreciate quality and need a car that seats more than five," said Masamichi Kogai, Mazda's representative director, president and CEO.

"It has the looks, performance and high-end feel customers expect from a Mazda, and even adults can sit comfortably in the third row.

The CX-8 is 4,900mm long, 1,840mm wide and 1,730mm tall on a 2,930mm wheelbase.

The engine is a Skyactiv-D 2.2 new generation, 'clean diesel' unit coupled to a Skyactiv-Drive six-speed torque converter automatic transmission.

Seating capacity is six or seven.