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Saloons, hatchbacks and estates have all lost ground to one vehicle in particular- the SUV- and almost day by day comes news of yet another new contender arriving on to the market. Yes, I can easily understand why people purchase these vehicles, mainly because of versatility as they are able to fulfill a multitude of roles. Even the prestige manufacturers have had to give in to the SUV and with it has come even greater success in terms of number of sales. Whether we like it or not the SUV is here to stay and the choice for the customer is huge.

Later this year, an all-new Mazda CX-60 PHEV; the first of two new models from the company’s Large Product Group will be introduced throughout Europe. The CX-60 PHEV will clearly demonstrate Mazda’s commitment to a multi-solution approach to sustainable mobility and the principal of the right solution at the right time. It will be joined in the future by the CX-80 which will feature three-row seating; this will have lots of appeal to the family motorist. This no doubt will provide a challenge to the large SUVs currently on sale. The CX-60 PHEV will spearhead the European introduction of plug-in hybrid models with a powertrain which combines a 2.5 litre, straight-four petrol engine with a performance-enhancing electric motor resulting in a power output in excess of 300bhp. This Skyactiv-G 2.5, four-cylinder direct injection petrol with a large, 129 kW electric motor allied to an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission, and a 355V, 17.8 kWh high-capacity battery. This combination of engine and motor delivers a total system output of 327PS and abundant torque of 500 Nm, making it the most powerful road car Mazda has ever produced. Conversely, the new Mazda PHEV displays outstanding environmental credentials: WLTP combined fuel consumption is just 76.53km/l (188mpg) and WLTP combined CO2 emissions only 33 g/km. The first PHEV powertrain from this Japanese company will offer smooth, efficient and powerful acceleration giving the driver greater confidence and driving enjoyment in the widest possible range of driving scenarios.

Elegant and dynamic styling is the latest development of Kodo, the Mazda design philosophy that breathes life into its cars. No one can argue that this company does produce very attractive vehicles. Beneath the toughness of the new front-engine, rear-wheel drive SUV, Kodo is combined with the Japanese concept of Ma, which is the calm and dignified beauty of empty space. Uniquely Mazda, and rooted in the company’s Japanese heritage, the designers have crafted an elegant, high quality interior that combines both traditional methods and new technologies. The CX-60 introduces for the first time the ideas of Kaicho, the harmony which comes from mixing different materials and textures, including maple wood, nappa leather, Japanese textiles and chrome details, and Musubu, the uniquely Japanese way of binding textiles which was the inspiration for the instrument panel stitching. There is no doubt the all-new interior will be a totally new experience for drivers and passengers. I have test driven numerous Mazda vehicles over a lengthy period and I have always been impressed with the non fussy exterior styling, perfectly in harmony with the well appointed interiors. A German journalist friend has described Mazda as the BMW of Japan. I understand exactly what he means by this comment; praise indeed for the brand.

Like so many car manufacturers, Mazda has offers what the customer demands and that is an all round vehicle- the SUV. With the CX-30 EV and the hugely populate CX-5 which recently had a facelift for the 2022 model year and with the much awaited CX-60 they will be in a position to offer maximum choice to the customer. The CX-60 is the most important model introduced by Mazda for more than a decade and the new flagship represents everything that the company has built into its DNA over the last 100 years. At this point in time I am not able to offer an exact date for its introduction to our market; I would hazard a guess-early autumn and so far no indication on pricing etc. No doubt all will be revealed soon.

Ian Lynas


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