Mazda’s new SUV product offence is now in full force. After the launch of the Mazda CX-50 and CX-60 in 2021 and 2022 respectively, the Japanese carmaker is now following up with its next big entry, the CX-90, which will be making its official debut on 31 January 2023.
Ahead of its launch, Mazda has now released several teaser videos in an attempt to build up hype for the large three-row SUV. As usual, the teasers still keep basically everything under wraps. But in a short press release released by Mazda, the company did reveal something very important – the CX-90’s powertrain.
We’ve known for a while now that Mazda is planning to equip its new SUV line-up with inline-six engines, and we now finally have a taste of what’s coming. Underneath the bonnet of the upcoming Mazda CX-90 will be an all-new 3.3-litre turbocharged inline-six e-Skyactiv mild-hybrid engine, with the drive sent to the wheels via a “rear-biased” all-wheel drive system.
Dubbed as Mazda’s most powerful mass production petrol engine, the 3.3-litre turbocharged mill will make up to 345 hp and 500 Nm of torque “when using the recommended premium fuel”. There will also be a plug-in hybrid variant, although no details on that were revealed yet.
Aside from the engines, Mazda also says that the automatic gearbox has been completely redesigned. Thanks to its smaller footprint, the Japanese carmaker says it was able to fit a “sports car” suspension to the car to deliver a more performance-focused driving experience.
And to tie it all off, the Mazda CX-90 will also be equipped with the Kinematic Posture Control (KPC) system to “maintain Mazda’s signature driving dynamics”, despite it being a massive three-row crossover. The KPC system, first introduced on the MX-5 Miata, uses minute and accurate brake applications on individual wheels to help the cars feel more balanced and planted while exiting from corners.
All of these just sounds like Mazda still really wants to build a sports car, but the market demands an SUV, so it’s doing what it can to achieve both of that – at the same time. Kudos if they can pull it off, though.
The inline-six engines will likely be Mazda’s final combustion powerplants, before the marque fully devotes itself to electrification. While they’ve already taken a first step into fully-electric BEVs with the MX-30, it seems Mazda is still taking it slow with full EVs based on their electrification timeline, as they’re only killing off pure EVs from 2030 onwards – hybrid models are still on the cards.