Mazda is expected to rethink its electric strategy as a part of a new mid-term plan, with the brand expected to apply more focus to electrified vehicles, as well as rotary-powered range extenders, according to new reports.
Mazda has thus far dipped a toe into EV waters, with the MX-30 Electric, with the brand misunderstanding how rapid short-term electric vehicle take up will be.
Instead, the brand is preparing to launch a fleet of new diesel and petrol SUVs – including its first production plug-in hybrid model in the much-anticipated CX-60. But, reports today out of the USA suggest the brand could focus more on EVs in the lead-up to 2030.
The vision, which will be revealed this month and will carry the brand to 2030, is expected to detail a plan to focus on profit per car rather than overall volume, and to debut a new brand message that will act as a blueprint for its ambitions.
That said, the brand is still expected to take a cautious electric vehicle approach, with US outlet Automotive News suggesting that, while Mazda will “beef up” its EV plans, the change will be more of a tweak rather than a complete overhaul.
It suggests that Mazda thinks a combination of ICE and plug-in hybrid powertrains are a stronger short-term answer than electric vehicles.
First to arrive will be Mazda CX-60, which will launch in Australia next year with an entirely electrified line-up in, including the debut of a new plug-in hybrid powertrain and two mild-hybrid setups, with the new SUV presenting the brand’s most premium play to date.
Mazda’s first production plug-in hybrid model will pair a 2.5-litre inline four-cylinder Skyactiv-G engine with a 100kW electric motor and a 17.8kWh high-capacity lithium-ion battery.
The brand says you will get a total output of 241kW and 500Nm – enough to make it the most powerful Mazda road car to date – and a pure EV driving range in excess of 60kms.
Also on offer are two 48-volt mild-hybrid systems – one petrol, one diesel. The first is a 3.3-litre e-Skyactiv D turbo-diesel, good for 187kW and 550Nm. And there’s the 3.3-litre turbo-petrol, good for 209kW and 450Nm. Both offer the i-Activ All-Wheel Drive system, and pair with a new eight-speed automatic transmission.
In other exciting news, the mid-term plan suggests Mazda’s rotary revival is still under way, with the iconic engine tech excepted to appear before March next year.
This is not a rotary as you might remember it though, with the technology instead used as a range-extender, with power generated used to recharge a battery rather than drive the wheels – similar, then, to Nissan’s e-Power system.