Don’t you just hate getting in a car and going through all the rigmarole of pressing actual buttons and having electricity move your seat for you. Well, fear not! In the Mazda CX-60, facial-recognition technology will do the job for you - all you have to do is sit, think about what’s for lunch and the car will shift everything around automatically.
In fact, Mazda goes one step further because it even recommends what your seating position should be, based on various factors that the engineers have worked out. It wasn’t 100% correct for me so it does feel like a bit of a gimmick, but maybe some customers will like it. It’s certainly a talking point when you initially jump in the car.
The plug-in hybrid CX-60 is a big investment for Mazda, and is pitched against such hybrid stalwarts as the Toyota RAV4 and similar Suzuki Across. It’s the first time the Japanese firm has offered a plug-in hybrid and comes on an all-new platform that will eventually underpin cars like the wide-body, US-only CX-70 and the seven-seat, this-side-of-the-pond-friendly CX-80.
It’s also the most powerful road car Mazda has ever built, offering up 323bhp and 369lb ft, thanks to its longitudinally mounted 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol and a 134bhp synchronous motor that sits between the ICE and all-new transmission. An electronically controlled multi-plate clutch does the job of the torque converter in the eight-speed automatic gearbox, giving benefits such as less slip and reducing energy losses by 22%.
The 17.8kWh battery (chargeable in 2hr 20min on a 7kW plug) sits, skateboard-style, in the middle of the snappily titled Skyactiv Multi-Solution Scalable Architecture platform. It means the car is good for an electric-only range of 39 miles - okay but marginally down on the Toyota’s 46.5 miles.