The new Mazda CX-60 is the Japanese firm's crucial new range-topping SUV, representing a step change in terms of design philosophy, positioning and – most importantly – electrification.
Already arrived as a petrol-based PHEV – with Mazda’s first plug-in hybrid powertrain – a pair of 48V mild-hybrid six-cylinder diesel engine options are next to join the line-up early next year.
The 3.3-litre electrically assisted diesel comes with either 197bhp (in rear-wheel drive form) or 251bhp (all-wheel drive). The powerplant also uses Mazda’s SPCCI compression-ignition technology for improved efficiency; Mazda quotes a WLTP average fuel consumption of between 53.3mpg and 56.5mpg.
The new motor was chosen against the industry trend towards inline-four power, acknowledges Mazda, because 500cc cylinders give the best balance of torque and thermal efficiency, so it’s better to boost the outright count rather than individual capacity.
It will join its plug-in hybrid sibling, which combines a 2.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine with an EV motor. Mazda expects the PHEV to take two-thirds of its European sales. A 3.0-litre six-cylinder mild-hybrid petrol model will also arrive next year, but a date has not yet been confirmed.
The PHEV powertrain is paired with the new eight-speed wet-clutch gearbox to produce a combined 323bhp and 369lb ft, making this the brand’s most powerful road car yet. Meanwhile, a 17.8kWh battery supplies an engine-off driving range of 37 miles. All these figures stack up favourably against PHEV rivals at a similar price point, namely the Volvo XC60 Recharge and BMW X3 xDrive40e.
The CX-60 PHEV's powertrain – entirely unrelated to the one seen in strategic partner Toyota's RAV4 PHEV – is expected to get it from 0-62mph in 5.8sec and emit just 33g/km of CO2 on the WLTP combined cycle.
The CX-60 sits atop an all-new native rear-wheel-drive platform – a layout Mazda says allows for improved dynamic balance (as proved by the MX-5) and refinement – which will be used for four new models by 2025, including the three-row CX-80 and the wider CX-70 and CX-90 SUVs for the US market.