- Mazda has just revealed the new CX-90, which will share a platform, a new longitudinally mounted inline-six, and a plug-in-hybrid setup with the upcoming CX-70.
- We weren’t expecting much of a turbocharged six-cylinder change for the CX-70, meaning the smaller crossover should retain its 340-hp output.
- The CX-70 may also receive the CX-90 plug-in hybrid system with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and 17.8 kWh battery, which debuted in the Europe-only CX-60, pictured here, last year.
The Mazda CX-90 represents the first of two US-purposed crossovers to use the Japanese automaker’s new longitudinal engine platform, part of Mazda’s push into a more premium market space. Utilizing a new 3.3-liter inline six-cylinder engine, the seven-seat CX-90 will be followed by a five-seater called the CX-70. The CX-90’s unveiling provides a clearer picture of what to expect from the upcoming CX-70, giving it a taste of Mazda’s new styling direction and revealing details on the automaker’s latest powertrain.
While the CX-90 effectively replaces the aging CX-9, the CX-70 will occupy a space in Mazda’s lineup that has been vacated since the CX-7’s death in 2012. Sitting on top of the compact CX-50, the CX-70 will share platforms and powertrain with the larger CX-90. It will be a two-row mid-size crossover that aims to compete with vehicles such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Honda Passport while also venturing into more luxurious territory where SUVs such as the Lexus RX are.
The CX-70’s styling should emulate the CX-60 (pictured), a closely related SUV for the European market. Like the CX-90, the front end needs to be sculpted and lots of chrome. The CX-70 will have wider bodywork than its European counterpart, as will the US-bound CX-90 compared to its global counterpart, the CX-80. The CX-70’s longitudinal engine configuration should feature the same long hood and high-end proportions we can see on the CX-90, and the wider US-specific bodywork should help lighten up some of the CX-60’s larger vantage point.
The CX-70 will likely offer the same powertrain as the CX-90, with the former being a turbocharged 3.3-liter inline-six making 340 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. That output requires premium fuel — the drop to 89 octane corresponds to a drop in power, but Mazda hasn’t specified how severe the impact will be. This powertrain also has a 48-volt hybrid system, with an electric motor sandwiched between the engine and transmission. We expect all CX-70s to be all-wheel drive.
The CX-70 may also offer a CX-90 plug-in-hybrid setup that combines the CX-5’s 2.5-liter inline-four with an electric motor located between the engine and a new eight-speed gearbox (which is also used with the inline-six). Combined output is rated at 323 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, with a 17.8 kWh lithium-ion battery providing 39 miles of electric range in the more optimistic European WLTP test (EPA estimates not yet available).
We’re not sure yet if the hybrid will be positioned above or below the six-cylinder powertrain when it comes to price. Europe is receiving the 3.3-liter diesel and 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder naturally aspirated engines that use variable compression, but we don’t expect these bikes to come to the US.
The CX-70 is expected to debut later this year and will start at around $38,000. Our first drive of the CX-60 reveals a well-appointed, high-quality cabin and Mazda’s signature sharp handling, though the plug-in powertrain proves to be a bit unrefined. But the inline-six borrowed from the CX-90 should help bring extra oomph along with handling prowess when we get our hands on the CX-70 later in 2023.