Mazda Australia may have launched its CX-60 in both mild- and plug-in hybrid guise simultaneously, but it’s not doing the same with the CX-90.
Instead, the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the CX-90 won’t come here until the second half of 2024.
“We will add the plug-in hybrid as soon as we can, but we’re thinking it’s going to be more like the second half to do all the compliance work, [Australian Design Rules] compliance, et cetera,” said Mazda Australia managing director Vinesh Bhindi.
Mazda Australia had flagged earlier this year we would be waiting until sometime in 2024 due to work required for ADR-specific changes.
US data for the CX-90’s PHEV drivetrain matches the setup in the smaller CX-60’s, which is already on sale in Australia.
It uses a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine and an electric motor to produce 240kW and 500Nm at peak; an eight-speed transmission; and a 17.8kWh battery pack to enable pure-electric driving.
While the CX-60 offers 62km of electric driving (WLTP), expect the larger CX-90’s EV-only range to be slightly shorter due to its greater weight.
In the CX-60, the PHEV drivetrain carries a premium of around $11-12,000 compared with corresponding petrol and diesel variants.
Should this also apply to the CX-90, we could be looking at a range-topping PHEV costing over $100,000 before on-road costs.
While we’ll be waiting a while for the plug-in hybrid, Australia is the first market to get the turbo-diesel CX-90.
Arriving alongside a 3.3-litre turbo-petrol inline six, the 3.3-litre turbo-diesel inline-six produces 187kW and 550Nm and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
Given the CX-90 has been developed with the North American market front of mind, where diesels are particularly niche products, it’s perhaps surprising the new flagship SUV offers one.
Mazda has previously confirmed we’re unique in getting this engine, with no other markets set to get it.
The company’s Australian arm says it specifically asked for it, and was granted its wish because the related CX-60 offers it.
“It needed full calibration as obviously this car is bigger and heavier and all those things, so it needed all that work to be done, but it was coming off the base line of the CX-60,” said Mazda Australia national marketing director Alastair Doak earlier this year.