Having set the ball in motion in November with the unveiling of the US-market only CX-50, Mazda, on Tuesday evening (8 March), took the wraps off of the all-new CX-60.
The second model that forms part of Hiroshima’s five derivative CX programme announced in October last year, the CX-60 arrives as not only Mazda’s first dedicated plug-in hybrid model, but the first to be underpinned by the long awaited rear-wheel-drive platform and all-new straight-six engines.
Slotting-in between the CX-5 and CX-8 in Mazda’s global line-up, the CX-60 sports the latest version of the marque’s Kodo design language, dubbed “Noble Toughness”, which has resulted in the same long bonnet as the CX-50 and a rounded rear facia similar in look to that of the Maserati Levante.
Unlike any other CX model though, the CX-60 receives a model bespoke LED headlight design, an illuminated grille surround and equally novel L-shaped LED taillights.
Mounted on 18 or 20-inch alloy wheels, the CX-60’s colour palette consists of eight colours; Arctic White, Jet Black, Sonic Silver, Machine Grey, Platinum Quartz, Deep Crystal Blue, Soul Crystal Red and a new hue called Rhodium White said to be have inspired by the “Japanese aesthetic belief that less is more, and the ‘nothingness’ of Zen Buddhism”.
Aside from the mentioned plug-in hybrid drivetrain and straight-six engine, the biggest highlight surrounds the new rear-paw gripping architecture destined for the upcoming Mazda 6.
Tentatively called SkyActiv Multi-Solution Scalable Architecture, the platform, according to Mazda, features a human centric design in its construction in addition to being skewed towards comfort and immediate response.
Incorporating what Mazda calls Kinematic Posture Control that is said to stabilise the CX-60’s posture on the move, the platform utilises a double wishbone front suspension design at the front and multi-link at the rear mostly made out of aluminium.
Adhering to the principle of Jinba-Ittai associated with the MX-5, which Mazda says played a part in development, the CX-60 sports an electric power steering arrangement derived from the roadster, as well as regenerative braking as per the electric hardware.
Dimensionally, the CX-60 measures 4 745 mm in overall length with its wheelbase stretching 2 870 mm and width 1 890 mm. Standing 1 680 mm tall, the five-seat arrangement allows for a boot space of 570-litres, or up to 1 148-litres with the rear seats folded down.
With improvement said to have taken place on the refinement front, the interior is less dramatic than the exterior or foundation in that it differs slightly from that of the CX-50.
Debuting four new trim levels; Prime-line, Exclusive-line, Takumi and Homura, the CX-60 comes as standard with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a new Heads-Up Display Mazda claims measures three-times larger than that of the CX-30.
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The latest MZD Connect infotainment system measures twelve-inches or 12.3-inches and comes with wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, over-the-air updates and on top-spec models, intertwined with a new twelve-speaker Bose sound system.
Other specification items, again depending on the trim level, include electric, heated and cooled seats, a standard eight-speaker sound system faux leather or real leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, Adaptive Cruise Control, ambient lighting, white Nappa leather and wood grain trim on the Takumi and a kick-motion activated electric tailgate.
Notable safety items include a 360-degree camera system, City Brake Support, Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keep Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert with Auto Braking, Steering Assist, Driver Attention Alert, Vehicle Exit Warning, Traffic Sign Recognition and Auto High Beam Assist.
As mentioned, the CX-60 touches down as Mazda’s first dedicated plug-in hybrid model with the range of engines comprising two petrol units and a brand-new turbodiesel.
Opening the line-up, the base mill consists of the familiar 2.5 SkyActiv-G and a 17.8-kWh battery driving a 100 kW electric motor.
Combined, the system produces 241kW/500Nm with the claimed all-electric range coming to 60 km at speeds below 100 km/h. Top speed is limited to 200 km/h with 0-100 km/h taking 5.8 seconds.
Somewhat disappointingly, no in-depth details regarding the new turbocharged straight-six units were divulged with Mazda merely confirming the displacement of both, 3.0-litres for the SkyActiv-X petrol and 3.3 for the SkyActiv-D, as well as the presence of the M Hybrid Boost 48-volt mild-hybrid system.
All three units are paired as standard to a new eight-speed automatic gearbox that does without a torque converter, with all-wheel-drive being optional.
Also new is Mazda’s MI Drive mode selector consisting of four settings; Normal, Sport, Towing, Off-Road and EV in the case of the plug-in hybrid.
Now available in Europe, the CX-60, in the United Kingdom, retails from £43 950 (R878 426) for the rear-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid Exclusive-Line that serves as the base model in the absence of the Prime-Line.
While confirmed for Australia from next year, the CX-60, for now, remains a no-no for South Africa.