The Mazda CX-50 Hybrid, also called the CX-50 HEV, for the Chinese market has been unveiled by the Changan Mazda joint venture. It has been reported that the hybrid SUV will use Toyota powertrain technology. Given it looks a lot like a Toyota RAV4, a short-lived model in Malaysia, it seems quite fitting.
The CX-50 range will also have petrol-powered models, with pre-sales of the petrol models already beginning in China. The CX-50 range includes 2.0- and 2.5-liter petrol models priced from 159,800 yuan (RM102,776 approximately) to 212,000 yuan (RM136,550 approximately).
Changan Mazda has planned to launch the CX-50 at Mount Everest (yes, you read that right) in May with a mountain adventuring theme in its marketing materials in China. This launch will also mark the beginning of Changan Mazda's electrification journey, with the CX-50 Hybrid following the petrol versions into the market.
While specific details about the Mazda CX-50 Hybrid's drivetrain are not yet known, it has been reported that the hybrid SUV will use Toyota powertrain technology, which is an interesting move for the brand. Toyota holds a minority stake in Mazda, but we haven't seen its hybrid systems in Mazda's own models outside of Japan, except for a few rebadging jobs.
It is possible that the CX-50 Hybrid's drivetrain could be based on the available hybrid powertrains of the Toyota Corolla Cross, with which the CX-50 is produced in Huntsville, Alabama for the US market.
While the CX-50 and Corolla Cross do not share common underpinnings, it is possible that the CX-50 Hybrid could use a version (or versions) of the Corolla Cross's hybrid powertrains. From what we know, the CX-50 uses an extended version of the platform that underpins the CX-30 and Mazda 3.
It is not yet clear when Mazda plans to introduce the CX-50 Hybrid outside of the Chinese market, but the company has confirmed that electrified powertrains, including a traditional hybrid model, are in the nameplate's future. The joint factory with Toyota in Huntsville, Alabama, further suggests some powertrain sharing with the Corolla Cross.
It is likely that the CX-50 Hybrid will offer a version of the 2.0-litre system used in the Corolla Cross, with reports indicating that both front- and four-wheel drive versions of the HEV will be made available in China. As the Toyota hybrid system uses an eCVT, it is expected that the CX-50 Hybrid will also use this type of transmission, unless Mazda develops its own or tailors a version of the six-speed hybrid auto being used in Toyota's latest Hybrid Max models.
For the Malaysian market, it’s not clear when Mazda’s newest crop of SUVs such as the aforementioned CX-50, CX-60, and CX-90 will be making their way to our shores but we’ve no doubt they will replace the current generation before too long.
It would appear that only the CX-30 would be spared this culling given it already is part of the Hiroshima-based automaker’s newest double-digit luxury high rider models.