(Oberursel, Germany) This utility will never make a career in Canada, but the technology that surrounds it will.
Visible ideas coming soon
No need to hang around at the local Mazda dealer. The CX-60 displayed here in the window will not have a career in North America. Why devote a column to it, then? To address the technologies that this utility inaugurates, which will cross the Atlantic in the coming months with the launches of the future CX-90 and CX-70.
With the exception of the odd MX-30, Mazda has shown no particular fondness for the electric fairy. In fact, Mazda management believes – an opinion discreetly shared by other manufacturers – that the internal combustion engine has not said its last word. Technology, but also the emergence of carbon-neutral fuels, could give this more than a century-old invention a second wind. But the Hiroshima-headquartered brand knows — without actually admitting it openly — that it will have to think zero emissions sooner than it expected.
Moreover, starting in the fall (see the boxes in “Specifications”), Mazda will include in the catalog of its current CX-50 a first non-rechargeable hybrid engine. This will then be followed by a second, more sophisticated and pluggable, in a few months under the e-Skyactiv label. This in-house developed mechanism – read without the contribution of Toyota, its minority shareholder – has already started a career in Europe aboard the all-new CX-60. A model, let us remember, that Mazda is not intended for North America, but whose essential components will be found on board the CX-90 and CX-70 which will soon be offered to us. If these two models in the making have still not been officially presented, the technologies they will adopt will be identical to those of the CX-60, hence the interest of discovering them in preview here.
Let’s start with the hybrid engine, which here pairs a 2.5L four-cylinder with an electric power unit. The latter is powered by a battery with a gross capacity of 17.8 kWh capable of ensuring an alleged range of 63 km. A thruster that Mazda associates with an automatic transmission without a torque converter. With 8 gears, this transmission was entirely designed by Mazda.
Another powertrain, a 3.0L inline-six, will also be offered, but no unit of this engine was offered at the time of the model’s world premiere test. That said, this 3 L will, it is said, show frugality thanks to the presence of a micro-hybridization system. A small electric motor (a 48 V battery recovers energy on deceleration) will smooth out revving and help contain the amount of fuel consumed.
The other originality of this model lies in its architecture. Although this one, in Canada at least, will get a four-wheel drive mode, this platform was originally designed to drive the rear wheels (rear-wheel drive). It also has the particularity of installing the mechanics in a longitudinal position in order to obtain an ideal distribution of the masses, and to contain the movements of the body. All the ingredients necessary to preserve the cult – unfortunately endangered – of driving.
Wishbone suspension at the front, multiple arms at the rear, carefully reinforced and soundproofed chassis, this chassis has, on paper, nothing to envy to that designed by the elite manufacturers that Mazda intends to join in the coming.
In this regard, like the current CX-30 and CX-50, the future CX-70 and CX-90 (designated successors of the CX-9) aim to elevate the brand to the rank of top of the range.
A taste of tomorrow
During our test, which included all types of roads, the overall consumption was displayed at 7.6 L per 100 km and the machine can reach 100 km / h under the bar of 6 s. Do not attach too much importance to this data. This model was adapted to European specificities. In North America, this engine will not only have to move larger and heavier vehicles (CX-70 and CX-90), but will also be subject to certain adjustments to meet legislative and commercial specificities. And that’s good. Indeed, during this test, the transition between the two power units (petrol and electric) was not only noticeable, but audible as well. Asked about this, the brand’s managers admit having recognized the problem (related to the sensors) and indicate that the correction will be made to the production models.
Let’s sweep away the dichotomy between the two engines for a moment to discuss the dynamic qualities of the chassis. These are surprising to say the least, starting with an incredibly stable attitude, rather considerate suspensions, even when shod with 20-inch tires, and precise steering, although a tad too heavy. Like the whole vehicle, by the way. We also note the silent ride and the excellent driving position. The latter is automatically adjusted using a complex algorithm.
Let’s summarize now. The e-Skyactiv technology will generate a very real gain in consumption, but probably insufficient to hope to halt the slow decline of the internal combustion engine. Excluding electrification, no salvation.
The costs of this report were paid by Mazda Canada.
- Trial version: PHEV
- Price range: not applicable
- Visible in dealerships: will not be marketed in Canada
- Consumption: 7.8 L/100 km
- Dynamic behavior
- Ride comfort
- Reduced consumption
We love less
- Imperfect interaction between electric and gasoline thrusters
- Brand that aspires to the elite with a guarantee of “generalist”
- Unnecessarily heavy steering
- Development necessary to seduce local tastes.
The Press will soon publish the test of the following vehicles: Audi Q4 e-Tron, BMW 7 Series, Honda CR-V, Lexus RX and Subaru Outback. If you own one of these vehicles, we would love to hear from you about your experience.
- 2.5L L4 DOHC Hybrid
- 191 hp at 6000 rpm *
- 192 lb-ft of torque at “not available”
- * Combined power with electric power unit: 327 hp
- Weight (minimum-maximum): 1920 kg (with 20″ rims)
- Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 5.8s
- Maximum speed: 200 km/h
- Standard: 8-speed automatic
- Optional: none
- Drive mode: all-wheel drive
- 235/60R18 (standard)
- 225/50R20 (optional)
Tank capacity, recommended gasoline
- Wheelbase: 2870mm
- Length: 4745mm
- Height: 1685mm
- Width: 1890 mm (external mirrors folded)
Wired or wireless
Built in the United States, the CX-50 has nothing to do with the CX-60 which ushers in an entirely new architecture. Never mind, the CX-50 will nevertheless be the first hybrid Mazda marketed in North America, starting in the fall. However, this engine will not be rechargeable as is currently the case with the CX-50, and the hybrid technology comes from Toyota.
Originally, the new longitudinal rear-wheel-drive platform was intended to benefit the future generation of Mazda’s 6 sedan. We know the rest. The success of commercial vehicles all over the world prompted the Japanese brand to revise its plans. In addition to the CX-60, the future CX-70 and CX-90 will also be based on this new architecture.