Score another one for techno-ergonomics. Mazda says its CX-9 crossover will get a high-res 2.4" LCD display housed inside an automatic-dimming rearview mirror. The display will feed images from a back-up camera, giving a driver simultaneous, multiangle views of the shopping-cart morass he's about to back into. The system uses a "transflective" coating โ€” that's a combination of transparent and reflective, achieved by putting a partially reflective mirror layer between the LCD and its backlight. It'll be available on CX-9 models that aren't factory-equipped with DVD navigation systems at the low-low price of $665 for a port-installed option or $675 for dealer installation.

Press Release:


IRVINE, Calif. - Having two sets of eyes - one in the front of their heads and another in the back - is something people all over the world have longed for since the beginning of time. Now, using a state-of-the-art rearview mirror-mounted liquid crystal display system, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) will be the first automotive company in North America to give SUV owners the ability to clearly see what's happening behind the vehicle without taking their eyes off the road in front of them. The first of its kind to be installed in vehicles in the North American market, this rearview mirror-mounted Back Up Camera with Auto-Dimming Mirror Display will be available on CX-9 models not factory-equipped with DVD navigation systems - giving drivers the ability to see the display screen and the rearview mirror simultaneously.

When the vehicle is shifted into reverse, an LCD screen automatically appears within the reflective surface of the mirror, showing a real-time panoramic view of the area at the rear of the vehicle. Once the vehicle is shifted into any other gear, the display disappears.

Using special "transflective" coatings and lighting technology developed by Gentex Corporation, the high-resolution, 2.4-inch diagonal active-matrix video display is housed in an automatic-dimming rearview mirror, which dims in response to headlight glare from trailing vehicles in order to make nighttime driving safer.


"Safety is always a top priority for Mazda and we want all CX-9 customers to have the added security of a rearview backup camera, regardless of the trim level or option package they select," said Jack Stavana, director, Accessory Operations, MNAO. "The Back Up Camera with Auto-Dimming Mirror Display kit is a great alternative for CX-9 buyers whose vehicles are not equipped with the factory navigation system and its integrated backup camera."

Available as either a dealer-installed or port-installed option, the Back Up Camera with Auto-Dimming Mirror Display kit will include an auto-dimming rearview mirror with display and lift gate-mounted rear camera. Expected availability is early summer 2007, and pricing will start at $665 for a port-installed option or $675 for a dealer-installed option.

Question of the Day: Japanese MPV or CX-9? [internal]