We now know how Mazda‘s inline-six assault on the premium end of the market will begin - predictably, it’ll involve SUVs. Lots of them.
Europe will receive two new models from 2022 in the Japanese company’s new “Large Product group”. The model names are confirmed as ‘CX-60’ and ‘CX-80’, two and three-row SUVs respectively. Both will be available with Mazda’s newly developed inline-six Skyactiv-X petrol engine and six-cylinder Skyactiv-D diesel unit, each of which will be mounted longitudinally work with 48-volt mild-hybrid setups. In a very un-2020s move, the petrol version won’t use a turbocharger.
Also on the menu will be a plug-in hybrid using an inline-four petrol engine “combining high output with excellent environmental performance,” Mazda says. The US meanwhile will get the wider-bodied CX-70 and CX-90 SUVs, plus the “small platform group” CX-50, a car that will go to a few other non-European markets too.
Disappointed by the SUV focus? Fret not, a replacement for the current Mazda 6 saloon is expected to take the new longitudinal, predominantly rear-wheel drive platform, along with the fresh six-pot engines. Plus, it’s rumoured a production take on the RX Vision concept (below) might use the platform and powerplant combo. Dare we dream?
In something of a news splurge from Mazda, we also have confirmation of the MX-30 EV’s long-awaited rotary range extender version arriving during the first half of 2022. On the subject of electric stuff, Mazda is also pledging to launch “a number of new products” from 2025 using a bespoke electric platform. The MX-30, as a reminder, shares its architecture with the CX-30 crossover and the Mazda3 hatchback.
By 2030, all of Mazda’s products will be electrified to some extent. This is a very different approach to a lot of rival brands, some of which plan to ditch internal combustion entirely by that year or not long after. Mazda, not one to run with the heard (as also evidenced by those new straight-sixes), will have an EV ratio of only 25 per cent by that point.