Mazda has unveiled an all-new model with an all-new name: the CX-60. Despite the confusing name (are we to expect that it’s double the ‘car’ of the CX-30?), the Japanese brand pegs it as their new SUV flagship, even above the well-regarded CX-9. But what is it really?
Importantly for the brand, it ushers in a new wave of technology and forms a basis for its future vehicles. Underneath that questionable sheet of metal that isn’t as effortlessly pretty as previous Mazdas lies its brand new and much anticipated rear-wheel-drive platform (Skyactiv Multi-Solution Scalable Architecture).
Yes, this is the first big RWD Mazda in quite a long time and the only one in the brand’s range to feature a longitudinally-mounted engine apart from the venerable MX-5.
Under the CX-60's rather elongated bonnet, meanwhile, there’s more newness in the form of a hybrid powertrain. Specifically, it has paired its naturally aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder SkyActiv petrol with an electric motor housed within a new 8-speed automatic. Depending on the spec chosen, this can be further paired with their i-Activ all-wheel-drive system.
With this being Mazda’s first PHEV (with some help from technical partners Toyota), this is clearly leaning more toward a BMW-like format of a series hybrid as opposed to something like Volvo’s - where the electric motor more or less works independently at the rear axle to drive the rear wheels.
The combustion engine is a familiar unit, known for its refinement and linear response, and in this case, outputs 192PS and 261Nm of torque. This, aided by the e-motor’s 136PS output and instant 250Nm of shove, delivers a system output of 327PS and 500Nm, making it the most powerful road-going Mazda since….ever?
It doesn’t seem to be too encumbered by mass either as the 0-100km/h sprint takes just 5.8 seconds, though it will hit a top speed limiter at 200km/h. Still 20km/h faster flat out than a Volvo, mind you.
We can’t comment on how it handles but we expect Mazda to sprinkle in their usual dose of dynamic talent. That said, it does have a pretty beefy battery for a PHEV with a 17.8kWh lithium-ion unit supplying the electric motor. This makes for up to a claimed 63km of electric driving, meaning that, for most people, it’ll do their office commute without having to invoke the combustion engine. Very nice.
For now, the PHEV is the star of the show though there will be other combustion-only versions available at launch. Mazda is squarely aiming at the North American market with the CX-60 as well as with its upcoming models to pad out a next-generation CX-xx SUV onslaught.
Down the road in later 2022 and early 2023, Mazda will be fitting it with their new line-up of inline-6 petrol and diesel engines - another highly anticipated development from the Japanese brand. The CX-60 is confirmed to eventually receive a SkyActiv-D 3.3-litre turbodiesel and an e-SkyActiv X unit that displaces 3.0-litres and uses the automaker’s innovative and ultra-efficient Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SP-CCI) technology. Both engines will come with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system as well, called M Hybrid Boost.
Dimensionally, it isn’t quite as imposingly large as the CX-9 and better matches up as an in-betweener to the CX-5 and CX-8 in terms of length, though the CX-60 does have a shorter wheelbase and nose-to-tail measurements when compared to the latter.
Inside, Mazda impresses again with a cabin that looks to be fashioned to directly compete with the industry upmarket players. It’s not entirely new with some elements cherry-picked from other recent models but overall should give the Germans and even Lexus a little something something to worry about.
The company has placed a lot of attention on incorporating tangible high-quality materials and details that hold up at closer inspection. There will also be a variety of different trim options for customers to choose from, though that’s unlikely to be available in all markets.
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