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With more and more manufacturers announcing the end of diesel production there is one manufacturer to the best of my knowledge who recently brought a new one to the market. The company in question is Mazda and this will be welcomed by many.

With the deadline looming when new diesel and petrol cars will not be sold, to many it may be strange to introduce a new diesel engine on to the market, but I can be counted with many who welcome this development from Mazda.

I wonder did Rudolph Diesel ever imagine, when he invented the diesel engine, the success that it would enjoy. His invention came while the steam engine was the predominant power source for large industries and it was in 1885 when he set up his first shop in Paris to begin development of a compression ignition engine.

The first car to feature diesel power was from Citroen the Rosalie, that was in 1933 and three years later Mercedes Benz launched the first series production car, the 260 D.

I have to admit when I first gained knowledge of diesel powered cars I was nothing short of horrified, feeling that their only purpose was to power tractors and trucks. Move the time clock forward and I found myself testing diesel powered BMWs and VWs and rejoicing in the performance they delivered. However, the years bring changes, currently EVs are taking centre stage, I often ask the question are they the future, somehow the future will move in the direction of hydrogen power and having tested cars from BMW,Kia and Toyota I came away with a smile.

But I must return to Mazda and their impressive CX-60 with which I spent an enjoyable seven days, in which I took in seven counties, Armagh, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim and Cavan.Over a variety of weather, road conditions and many places of interest the generous proportioned SUV with its glorious sounding 3.3 litre oil burner left me on a number of occasions with a huge grin; you see I belong to that brigade who likes performance with a sound track; that I find missing with the EV. I always find to drive a diesel on a long run is very relaxing as I also find the West of Ireland and for this time with the CX-60, I enjoyed a two night stop over in Sligo Town where I particularly enjoyed the Sligo Park Hotel which is situated on the edge of the town, set in parkland with ample parking. I even had time to visit the Leisure Club, enjoy the craic in Jack B’s Bar and indulge in good food in the welcoming Hazelwood Restaurant. It wasn’t all about relaxation though, so I appreciated very much the one GB high speed WI-FI as I had to catch up on some work A hotel can have an abundance of amenities but for me the personal touch is paramount and the staff I found so welcoming and friendly. My only wish that I could have stayed longer, but I needed to cover a lot more tarmac with the Mazda.

The e-Skyactiv-D MHEV engine will find favour with private buyers, higher-mileage drivers or for the person who tows regularly. This new in-line six-cylinder diesel features Distribution-Controlled Partially Premixed Compression Ignition Technology and this makes the new e-Skyactiv D unit one of the cleanest diesel engines in the world, achieving a thermal efficiency of more than 40%. There is a choice of two power outputs: 200PS and 450Nm with rear-wheel drive and 254PS and 550Nm with Mazda i-Activ AWD. With a new 48v M Hybrid Boost system, this engine combines high output with wallet pleasing fuel economy. With DCPCI and Mazda M Hybrid technologies they contribute significantly to this SUVs frugal fuel consumption and low emissions. Going forward this is very important as I can see the cost of diesel rising further at the pumps, a way to encourage more to convert to an EV.

The real test for many is on road performance and with this member of the Mazda family, no disappointment and with a choice of drive modes and an eight speed transmission and despite its generous proportions the CX-60 handles well. Stopping ability is good and the more I drove the satisfaction factor accelerated. In keeping with the rest of the Mazda line-up their flagship is well appointed in terms of driver aids and technology. My focus this time was to highlight the under the bonnet aspect of the CX-60. I must add there is also a plug-in- hybrid, a first for Mazda and in Japan there is a petrol version of the CX-60. Of course different markets will offer various forms of the new engine and a choice of trim levels. The PHEV version delivers a maximum 320 plus PS and can reach 100kph (62mph) in under six seconds.

As a final, on my drive around seven counties, on arriving at Rosses Point and at the local yacht club I was greeted by Mazda flags, banners and a display of vehicles. No it was not for me, but an event sponsored by Martin Reilly Motors of Sligo!

Ian Lynas


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