Mazda is busily rolling out vehicles on its new rear-/all-wheel drive Large Architecture around the world, but it has delayed its next premium two-row SUV.
The forthcoming Mazda CX-70, which hasn’t yet been confirmed for the Australian market, was originally intended to launch in the US – expected to be the model’s first market – before the end of 2023.
The company’s North American CEO, Tom Donnelly, has now told Automotive News it will launch the CX-70 there in the new year.
Mazda has yet to release any images or teasers of the vehicle, and it has yet to be spied testing. However, in a Q&A session back in February, the company referred to the CX-70 as being a “two-row model with the same body [as the CX-90]”
Mr Donnelly has confirmed the CX-70 will offer five seats and a hybrid powertrain.
It’s unclear if this availability of a hybrid powertrain means mild-hybrid or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrains, or both.
The Mazda CX-70 will form as the fourth SUV based on the Large Architecture, following the CX-60, CX-90, as well as the yet-to-be revealed CX-80. The latter’s Japanese release has also reportedly been delayed until early 2024 as well.
While the CX-70 is a two-row counterpart to the CX-90, aimed at the North American market, the CX-80 is a three-row companion to the two-row CX-60 that’s aimed at Europe and Japan.
Uniquely, Mazda Australia is getting a mix: the CX-60 and CX-90 are already on sale here, and the CX-80 has been confirmed for a local launch although timing hasn’t been provided. Only the CX-70 has yet to be locked in.
Given its similar North American focus to the CX-90, the CX-70 could use the same powertrains.
The CX-90 PHEV uses a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine and an electric motor to produce 240kW and 500Nm; an eight-speed transmission; and a 17.8kWh battery pack to enable pure-electric driving.
This powertrain will join the 187kW/550Nm 3.3-litre turbo-diesel and 254kW/500Nm 3.3-litre turbo-petrol sixes in Australia next year.
“We’re very comfortable we’ll end up with more market coverage and not less,” Mazda Australia national marketing manager Alastair Doak told CarExpert in March, when asked about the addition of yet more SUVs to its line-up.
“We’re quite comfortable that each will occupy a different space and tell a different story. If we weren’t comfortable, we might not have been confirming CX-80 today.
“They will be different, and they will have a very clear space in the portfolio.”
Mr Doak noted Mazda Australia was questioned when it introduced the CX-8 locally alongside the CX-9, and said both models ended up becoming successful even if they were initially perceived as being in-house competitors for each other.