New Mazda CX-60 SUV: most powerful ever Mazda road car gets 322bhp

By topgear, 09 March 2022

Prices start from just under £44k (RM241k) for Mazda’s big new SUV

Nope, not any number of RX-7s or even the RX-8, but this. This is the most powerful Mazda road car ever produced. It is the all-new Mazda CX-60 PHEV, a full size, five-seat, plug-in hybrid SUV.

Underneath those admittedly handsome flanks sits a 2.5-litre four-cylinder ‘Skyactiv-G’ petrol engine, which is mated to a 100kW electric motor and a 17.8kWh battery. There's an eight-speed automatic gearbox that does without a torque converter too, and there's really very decent pace indeed for something weighing a couple of tonnes.

Mazda reckons on 0-62mph in 5.8secs and a (limited) top whack of 124mph thanks to system totals of 322bhp and 369lb ft of torque. This PHEV comes with the company’s ‘i-Activ’ AWD setup (mechanically it’s a front-engine, rear-drive layout). On the other end of the scale, there’s a claimed 188mpg (sure, why not?) and CO2 emissions of 33g/km.

Running on electricity alone, Mazda reckons on 39 miles at up to 62mph before petrol power kicks in, and a few miles more if you’re pottering around in the city (42 miles).

Other powertrains are due to follow: a pair of straight-six units, one a 3.0-litre ‘e-Skyactiv-X’ naturally-aspirated petrol, the other a 3.3-litre diesel sixer that’s said to weigh as much as a four-pot. Both get 48V mild-hybrid assistance for better efficiency, too, and both are available with rear-drive as well. That's right, a straight-six, rear-drive SUV.

Modes are aplenty via 'Mi-Drive', running through normal, sport, off-road, towing and EV, and all three CX-60s sit on Mazda’s ‘Multi-Solution Scalable Architecture’ which will underpin more Big Mazdas further down the line. It includes double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension setups, in a bodyshell offering “excellent” rigidity, we’re assured.

There are further nods to the CX-60’s road manners and driver bias in the form of the ‘Kinetic Posture Control’ said to stabilise the big lug when cornering; it brakes the inside rear wheel for more pointiness. Plus, slotting that battery between the front and rear axles nice and low means it’s got good stability.

Certainly looks stable, doesn’t it? Mazdas have long been handsomely proportioned, well-thought out designs, and this big new CX-60 is no different. That front-engined, rear-drive architecture gives it an innately proper stance, layered with the latest iteration of the company’s long-running ‘Kodo’ design language. There’s an air of quiet grace about the CX-60’s almost slab-sided flanks, but nothing offensive, certainly.

Fairly clean inside, too. As with all Mazdas, there’s a driver-bias, a mix of materials abound (leather, wood, chrome), a touchscreen atop the dash, a 570-litre boot (rising to 1,726 with the seats folded) and a range of trims running from the entry-level ‘Exclusive’, through ‘Homura’ and the range-topping ‘Takumi’. Each gets correspondingly more luxuriant. And expensive. The Takumi starts at £48,050.

Mazda Motors UK boss Jeremy Thomson said: “With the positioning of the high voltage battery at the centre of the car and as low as possible, this is a PHEV with a particularly low centre of gravity. This, combined with a permanent all-wheel drive system incorporating shaft-driven transfer of torque between the axles, gives the car superior handling characteristics on a par with the best in the premium segment."

Sounds good, but you’re waiting for the straight-six, rear-drive one, right?