Hiroshima, Japan - It’s already a well known fact that Mazda plans to expand upmarket with a new rear-wheel drive platform and straight-six engines, but now the company has gone into more detail about what we can expect on the SUV front.
On Thursday the Japanese carmaker announced that it planned to launch five new SUVs over the next two years, these being the new CX-50, CX-60, CX-70, CX-80 and CX-90.
The CX-50 will be marketed in the US only as part of a joint venture with Toyota, meaning it will likely be based on the latter’s Rav4.
The other four, from CX-60 to CX-90, are under consideration for South Africa, with final announcements set to be made at a later date. These models will form part of Mazda’s ‘Large Products Group’, and will be based around Mazda’s new rear-wheel drive platform, with varying sizes, two-row or three-row seating, and powertrain options catering for the needs of the specific markets in which they will compete.
The two-row Mazda CX-60 and three-row CX-80 will have a normal body width that’s suitable for markets with narrow roads such as Europe. The two-row CX-70 and three-row CX-90 will have a wide body design aimed at North America and other markets where larger models with a ‘big presence’ are sought after.
As for the powertrains, the European models will primarily use plug-in hybrid powertrains that pair four-cylinder petrol engines with electric motors. Depending on the market, Mazda will also offer turbocharged straight six Skyactiv-X petrol and Skyactiv-D diesel motors, paired with 48V mild hybrid technology.
But where does this leave the current Mazda CX-5? The midsize SUV, which was recently facelifted, is set to stick around for the time being, and Mazda says its design will evolve and its model line-up will be enhanced through continuous product improvements.
Mazda is also planning to evolve its electric car game. Starting from mid-2022, we’ll see electric models that use a rotary engine as a back-up generator.
Moving further ahead, Mazda is planning to introduce more new electric models based around an EV-dedicated platform from 2025 onwards.
But just how many of these we’ll see in South Africa remains to be seen.