Mazda’s newest vehicle platform could be used for electric vehicles (EVs), but it’s unlikely it will be offered with anything other than combustion and plug-in hybrid powertrains.
“Technically yes, [but] this platform is not ideal for pure EV,” said Mitsuru Wakiie, program manager for the Mazda CX-90, when asked whether the Large Architecture supports EVs.
The company is instead looking to future platforms, and has previously confirmed it’s developing the SkyActiv Multi-Solution Scalable Architecture which will support hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.
This will also support both front-wheel drive vehicles with transversely mounted engines and rear-wheel drive vehicles with longitudinal engines.
In 2021, Mazda said it planned to launch three pure electric models or variants by 2025. It’s unclear if this is still happening.
Between 2025 and 2030, Mazda intends to debut a new dedicated EV platform called the SkyActiv Scalable EV Architecture.
As part of a revised “mid-term management plan” announced in 2022, Mazda intends to invest ¥1.5 trillion ($16 billion) to develop electric vehicles as part of a three-phase strategy.
By 2030 Mazda expects “100 per cent of our products will have some level of electrification”, with EVs set to account for between 25 to 40 per cent of its global sales.
The company’s Chinese joint venture, Changan Mazda, recently teased two upcoming models – potentially sedans – that will offer a choice of plug-in hybrid and electric powertrains.
It’s unclear what platform these will use, and if they’ll be based on existing models – Mazda in China, for example, sells an electric version of the CX-30.
In the meantime, Mazda’s new Large Architecture vehicles will offer entirely electrified powertrain line-ups comprising mild-hybrid petrol and diesel engines and plug-in hybrids.
The plug-in hybrid CX-90 is due here in the second half of 2024.
While Mazda offers a range of mild-hybrid vehicles and will soon have at least two plug-in hybrids, ‘conventional’ hybrids are the missing piece of the puzzle – at least in Australia.
In China, Mazda has revealed a version of its mid-sized CX-50 crossover with hybrid technology from Toyota.