If you’re a Mazda fan, go ahead and mark down March 8 in your calendar, because on that day, the automaker is set to unveil a new plug-in hybrid SUV model based on a new platform. The Mazda CX-60 will reportedly use a new rear-wheel drive platform that is a “big departure from the front-wheel drive platforms” currently used in Mazda SUVs.
While we don’t know much about the CX-60 yet, Mazda has hinted at the use of upscale materials and a unique, premium interior design. According to the automaker, this will “embody the Japanese idea of Kaichô,” which can be best described as the harmony which comes from mixing different materials and textures. These materials will include Nappa leather, Maple wood trim, Japanese textiles and chrome.
Although Mazda has previously postponed its shift to the production of EVs by increasing the efficiency of its gas-powered models, the automaker recently shared an unexpected (but welcome) electrification strategy. According to those plans, Mazda will unveil a dedicated EV platform within the next decade, which will also power a multitude of plug-in hybrids and hybrids before then.
This long-term strategy also includes upcoming collaborations with Toyota, as the two automakers announced plans to collaborate on electrification technology in 2017. Together, Mazda and Toyota will develop the Toyota Corolla Cross crossover at the joint assembly plant in Huntsville, Alabama.
In the meantime, Mazda has the MX-30 — its first regular-production electric car. However, its EPA-rated 160-km range might not position the MX-30 as a strong competitor against other EVs currently on the market.