Mazda's most powerful road car ever is a plug-in SUV
By Matt Bird / Tuesday, March 8, 2022 / Loading comments
It doesn’t seem that long ago that the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was an object of derision; now no SUV line up is complete without a plug-in hybrid of some description. A little late to the party, Mazda has taken the opportunity to launch its plug-in SUV as a whole new model range – the CX-60.
The “beautiful and dynamic” Mazda combines a 2.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol with a 17.8 kWh battery and 100kW motor; total system is output is 327hp and 369lb ft, making the CX-60 e-Skyactiv PHEV Mazda’s most powerful road car ever. It’s capable of 0-62mph in 5.8 seconds and 39 miles of electric range up to 62mph, with a maximum of 42 miles possible around town. The official fuel economy figures point to 33g/km and 188mpg. Mazda says offering the PHEV shows its “commitment to a multi-source approach to sustainable mobility and the principal of the right solution at the right time.” Whatever that means. Mild-hybrid straight six engines – a 3.0-litre petrol and 3.3-litre diesel – will join the range in time, and sound a little more interesting.
The CX-60 is set to deliver “strong environmental performance with the driving pleasure inherent in every Mazda”; to that latter end, this car is built on the Skyactiv Scalable Architecture, said to bring excellent rigidity and a low centre of gravity. Suspension is by double wishbones at the front, with a multi-link rear axle. The CX-60 even gets the Kinematic Posture Control recently introduced to the MX-5, where an inside wheel is braked through a corner to reduce roll. Drive to all four wheels is managed by Mazda’s i-Activ All-Wheel Drive system and a new eight-speed automatic gearbox.
The CX-60 interior will be familiar to any existing owners, the design very deliberately aiming to offer “the uniquely Mazda sense of being at one with the car.” A 570-litre boot (including the underfloor storage) will be less familiar and undoubtedly welcome in a family friendly SUV. Additional features include the Mazda Driver Personalisation System, technology that uses facial recognition and sets the car to your configuration, plus maple wood and Nappa leather on the higher trims.
Speaking of which, three specifications will be offered for UK CX-60 customers. The £43,950 Exclusive Line kicks off the range and promises an “extensive” tally of standard equipment, but does without the facial recognition stuff. That comes with the £46,700 CX-60 Homura, which also adds 20-inch black wheels, heated seats and body-coloured arch mouldings. Top of the range over here will be the CX-60 Takumi, which costs £48,050. Options include a Convenience Pack, Driver Assistance Pack and Comfort Pack.
Mazda UK MD Jeremy Thomson said of the new car: “The Mazda CX-60 heralds the start of a new chapter for Mazda. Not only is it our first car with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, but it also sets new standards for interior quality, design and technology – highlighting Mazda’s uniquely Japanese premium brand direction”. Many have tried – and struggled – in creating a truly successful Japanese premium brand, but perhaps Mazda can succeed where others have floundered. Certainly a PHEV SUV seems a sensible place to start, given their unabating popularity. Expect the first CX-60s here in the autumn.
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