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Preview: 2023 Mazda CX-60 is first of Japanese firm’s premium range

Mazda on Tuesday unveiled the CX-60 as the latest addition to its growing SUV lineup.

It’s a small crossover SUV targeting the likes of the BMW X3 and Genesis GV70. It won’t be sold in the U.S., though. Instead, we should see a similar but slightly larger SUV called the CX-70.

Mazda has made little secret of its desire to move upmarket with a range of premium vehicles based on a rear-wheel-drive platform and powered by plug-in hybrid and inline-6 powertrains, and the CX-60 is just the first of these.

2023 Mazda CX-60

In addition to the CX-70 mentioned above, there will also be an even larger SUV with third-row seats, which will be called the CX-80. These additional SUVs will be launched within the next two years, Mazda has confirmed. Together with the current CX-9, the CX-60, CX-70 and CX-80 will form what Mazda refers to as its Large Product Group. Though yet to be confirmed, a large sedan possibly serving as a replacement for the Mazda 6 is also expected to form part of this group.

The CX-60 launches with just the one powertrain, a plug-in hybrid setup combining Mazda’s 2.5-liter inline-4 with an electric motor for a total 322 hp, or enough for 0-62 mph acceleration in 5.8 seconds. An 8-speed automatic and all-wheel-drive system also form part of the package, as does a 17.8-kilowatt-hour battery that should enable a decent bit of electric range.

Two inline-6 engines will eventually be added to the powertrain portfolio, both will mild-hybrid systems. One is a 3.0-liter gasoline unit and the other a 3.3-liter diesel. Mazda said both inline-6 engines have been designed to support rear- or all-wheel drive. Engines in Mazda’s rear-wheel-drive platform feature longitudinal mounting. The platform also benefits from double wishbone suspension up front and a multi-link setup at the rear.

2023 Mazda CX-60

2023 Mazda CX-60

2023 Mazda CX-60

2023 Mazda CX-60

Mazda has previously failed going down the premium route with its Eunos brand of the 1990s. Will it work this time around? We’ll have to wait and see.

The CX-60 starts sales in Europe this fall. Timing for other markets is yet to be announced.

Here in the U.S., Mazda also has the compact CX-50 crossover due at dealerships later this year as a 2023 model. This model is aimed at buyers with active lifestyles, and shares a platform with the front-wheel-drive CX-30 and MX-30 compact crossovers.

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