Mazda confirms new plug-in hybrid electric SUV

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Japanese car maker teases a new plug-in-hybrid electric SUV as part of its push into a more premium price bracket.     

A teaser image of the new Mazda CX-60 SUV.

Mazda Australia has confirmed a new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) will be among the line-up of its forthcoming CX-60, a more upmarket SUV designed to sit above the existing Mazda CX-5, which is due here before the end of the year.

The company has previously confirmed that the CX-60, which will be available with an inline six-cylinder petrol engine and both rear and all-wheel drive, will be coming to Australia, but this is the first confirmation that a PHEV variant will also be included.

The new CX-60 will be available in both six-cylinder gasoline and four-cylinder PHEV guise and will make its debut in Europe in March, before coming to Australia later this year.

The CX-60 PHEV combines a 2.5-litre, straight-four petrol engine with a performance-enhancing electric motor, resulting in more than 223kW of power.

By way of comparison, the Kia Sorento PHEV features a 1.6-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder teamed with an electric motor, to deliver combined system outputs of 195kW and 350Nm.

The CX-60 is part of a new family of SUVs from Mazda’s Large Products Group to be introduced over the next two years.

Extensive new range

The new range includes the five-seat CX-50, CX-60 and CX-70, and the seven-seat CX-80 and CX-90, and is designed to take the Mazda brand more upmarket, with a view to giving existing owners something new to aspire to and to attract conquest buyers from other brands.

The company announced the plan to drastically expand its SUV line-up last October, with five new models starting from 2022, that will eventually almost double the total number of SUVs in its range.

The CX-60, CX-70, CX-80 and CX-90 are described as being part of the Large Products Group and sit above the CX-50 in terms of price and positioning, with the latter described as a crossover SUV that fits with Mazda’s “Small Product Group3”.

Mazda has previously said the two-row CX-60 and three-row seat CX-80 will appeal to markets with narrower roads and smaller parking lots such as Europe and Japan, and presumably Australia, while the CX-70 and CX-90 are intended for North America and other markets, where larger models are preferred.

A smaller CX-50 model is being made specifically for the US market and in left-hand drive configuration only.

New-generation engines

In addition to PHEVs with straight-four gasoline engines, Mazda will deploy its new-generation straight-six Skyactiv-X gasoline and Skyactiv-D diesel engines, in combination with a 48V mild hybrid system, as performance models.

A spokesperson for Mazda Australia said last October that all four of the large SUV models, meaning CX-60, CX-70, CX-80, and CX-90, were available to Australia and work was underway to establish the business case and ascertain which of these models would fit with the company’s existing line-up.

“That work has already been done for the CX-60 and we will see that model here before the end of 2022,” the spokesperson said, adding that it would complement and sell alongside the existing CX-7 and CX-8 models.

Having announced the initiative last October, Mazda is steadily drip-feeding information on the new models, including on this occasion releasing a single image of a section of the CX-60 headlight, grille and bumper.

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The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.