The new design adopts Mazda's Kodo design language.

The 2017 Mazda CX-9 has been spotted testing in the mountains of California. The prototype, wearing little camouflage, gives the best hint yet at what the next Mazda crossover could look like.

Filmed by a YouTuber named Carspotter Jeroen, the CX-9 has — no surprise — adopted the Kodo styling language that has permeated the rest of the marque. A new five-sided grille whose edges form "blades" connecting to swept-back headlights. The new body blends curvaceous fenders and rear haunches, a la Mazda3 and Mazda6, while from the rear view new taillights and tumblehome shape draw resemblances to the CX-5.

The interior was not shown, but it is expected to have three-row seating, as well as an all-new dashboard more in-line with the rest of the Mazda line. Power reportedly will come from a 2.5L SkyActiv four boosted with a turbo. The engine will eventually spread to a number of other models as well.

When it is released, the last vestiges of Mazda's partnership with Ford will be over. The outgoing CX-9 was built on the global CD3 platform, which also underpinned the Lincoln MKZ and Ford Fusion. With an all new platform that emphasizes the SkyActiv technologies of efficiency and lightness, the CX-9 is rumored to be as dynamic a handler for the full-size crossover segment as the CX-5 was for mid-sizers.