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.
Mazda’s commitment to the dynamic appeal of its mainstream models was a driving factor in the architecture's development. As well as optimising weight distribution and being fitted with double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension, it’s equipped as standard with a new Kinematic Posture Control function, as used by the Mazda MX-5, which promotes flatter cornering and sharper turn-in by varying braking force to each wheel.
Measuring 4745mm long by 1890mm wide and 1675mm high, it is distinctively larger than the CX-5 it will be sold alongside, and while the visual resemblance is obvious, the CX-60 marks an evolution of the brand’s Kodo design language, with heavy influence from 2017’s stunning Vision Coupé concept. The most obvious differences are a flatter treatment for the front end and a markedly altered silhouette, which are cues expected to define the Japanese brand’s new models over the coming years.
Inside, the CX-60 follows the driver-centric ‘Jinba Ittai’ (horse and rider) philosophy common to all its models, but with a tangibly enhanced focus on high-quality materials and attention to detail. One notable upgrade over the CX-5 is a significantly larger 12.3in central touchscreen - up from 10.25in.
Available to order in the UK now ahead of deliveries early next year, the CX-60 diesel is priced from £42,990 for the entry level Exclusive trim, £48,380 in mid-run Homura guise, or
£50,730 for the rang-topping Takumi car. The already-on-sale four-pot PHEV is priced from £43,950.