Mazda will add five new SUV models to its global range before the end of 2023 – most using new plug-in hybrid or inline-six cylinder electrified engines.
The first is called CX-50 and is designed for North America only. It will be made at a new Mazda-Toyota joint-venture plant in Alabama, where Toyota builds its Corolla Cross.
The other four will be larger and more premium products based on a new shared longitudinal platform with plug-in hybrid or inline-six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines using 48V systems.
Their names will be CX-60, CX-70, CX-80 and CX-90, with production to be centred at a newly overhauled plant in Japan.
The best way to look at these four models is to separate them into twins. The CX-60 and CX-80 go together, and the CX-70 and CX-90 ditto.
In both pairs the smaller number model has two seating rows, and the larger number three seating rows.
According to Mazda, the CX-60 and CX-80 are focused on markets “with narrower roads and smaller parking lots” such as Europe and Japan.
The CX-70 and CX-90 will have a “wide body type” according to Mazda, with a focus on markets such as North America “where larger models with a big presence are preferred”.
Where does Australia fit in?
Australia is an unusual market for Mazda. In most places it’s a small brand but here it’s the number-two seller behind Toyota.
Because this market’s tastes tend to sit somewhere between those most pronounced in Europe and the US, Mazda Australia says it’s looking into all four options for potential sale here.
In fact the smallest of these, the CX-60 five-seat crossover, is already locked in and is on track to launch by the end of 2022.
It will be sold alongside the familiar CX-5 – which will pick up some tech updates – but at a premium that pushes it towards the likes of the Lexus NX and Genesis GV70.
It would seem highly likely that one of the three-row options will come here, either the CX-80 or CX-90, or potentially both.
It seems unlikely that this pair as well as the familiar CX-8 and CX-9 could exist concurrently here, so you can reasonably expect some degree of rationalisation.
The company hasn’t detailed its new engines all that much, but we know one option will be a four-cylinder plug-in hybrid.
The two inline-sixes will be called the Skyactiv-X petrol and Skyactiv-D diesel. Both will have 48V electrical systems to smooth out the stop/start and add some low-end jolts of torque.
Beyond this, Mazda re-confirmed its commitment to the MX-30 rotary engine range-extender hybrid, which it says will emerge by July 2022.
By 2025 the company says it will start launching a range of longer-range electric cars developed on an all-new EV-dedicated platform.