I was trying to figure out why the styling of CX-50 (as in post #39) impressed me as vaguely Italian. Then it hit me today--Alfa Stelvio. Obviously the noses are quite different with Alfa's signature grill, but in profile they share coupe like-styling ques.
The idea, I suppose, could be less about going after the BMW i3 and that ilk with a more boxy SUV look, or others that don't offer a RWD option, and instead offering a RWD coupe-like package a la the Stelvio without the reliability headaches and small sales and service network that combine for low Stelvio sales volumes.
It's interesting that the Stelvio is 5 1/2" longer than the CX-5, what the CX-50 is purported to be, while having less cargo capacity. Judging from that CX-50 picture, I would not be surprised if it too has less cargo room. A vehicle for driving, not a hauler for a small family that the CX-5 can be.
In short, Mazda may be going after what is perceived as an underserved niche. They've had success in the past in that way with the Miata.
Anyway, comparing to Stelvio or i3, you're probably looking at $43,000 to start with RWD, maybe a couple grand lower or more standard features to offer a better value proposition. Hot reviews from CR, et. al. would draw a lot of attention in that coupe-like, RWD, drivers car...err, I mean CUV... segment at a price point without a lot of competition.