Mazda’s new flagship three-row SUV will offer a choice of petrol and diesel engines when it arrives in Australia.
The Australian-market 2024 Mazda CX-90 will be offered with a turbocharged 3.3-litre inline-six petrol with 254kW of power and 500Nm of torque, and a 3.3-litre turbo-diesel inline-six with 187kW and 550Nm.
They’re mated with a new eight-speed automatic transmission specifically designed for vehicles on this platform, with drive sent to all four wheels via a standard i-Activ all-wheel drive system.
Mazda says the petrol model is the most powerful mass-production petrol car it has ever developed.
The M-Hybrid Boost 48V mild-hybrid system on both engines features an electric motor between the engine and the transmission, which can directly power the CX-90 at low speeds. Mazda also promises an “upscale feeling, a smooth-driving experience, [and] enthralling sound and efficiency”
Mazda made no mention, however, of a plug-in hybrid CX-90 for Australia despite such a powertrain set to be offered in the US.
The smaller local-spec CX-60 will offer the same PHEV powertrain, which mates a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine with an electric motor and a 17.8kWh battery, for total system outputs of 241kW and 500Nm.
The CX-90 follows the MX-5 convertible in offering Kinematic Posture Control, designed to suppress body lift on tight corners and enhance grip. As the name suggests, it’s also designed to allow occupants to maintain a natural posture.
The flagship SUV uses the rear-biased all-wheel drive Large Architecture debuted on the CX-60, but features a wider body and up to seven seats.
We’ll get both, even though the two-row CX-60 has been developed for markets like Europe alongside an as-yet unrevealed, three-row CX-80, and the CX-90 has been designed with North America in mind and will feature a two-row CX-70 stablemate.
“Our second entrant into the new large platform family brings with it even more of everything – more power and performance, greater versatility and heightened luxury,” said Mazda Australia managing director Vinesh Bhindi.
“The First-Ever Mazda CX-90 is the absolute pinnacle of Mazda premium; our most advanced model ever with exceptional levels of sophistication throughout that can be enjoyed not just by the driver, but the whole family.”
The flagship SUV has a similar look up front to the smaller CX-60, but it’s longer and wider and has a distinctive rear-end with a curved tailgate, plus new 21-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels with a black metallic finish.
These photos also depict the CX-60 in one of Mazda’s signature Takuminuri colours, Artisan Red, which is also available on the 20th Anniversary edition of the Mazda 6.
Inside, there’s a look Mazda says is “inspired by traditional Japanese aesthetics” with swathes of Nappa leather, Maple wood, and tone-on-tone fabrics.
The fabric on the dash is connected using hanging stitches, which Mazda says was inspired by hand-bookbinding and an intricate Japanese weaving technique known as Kakenui.
A new 12.3-inch infotainment display takes pride of place on the dashboard.
Third-row occupants haven’t been forgotten, with USB-C charging outlets and air vents back there.
The CX-90 will come standard with autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control, while a surround-view camera with a transparent vehicle mode is also available.
Mazda has previously said its new premium SUVs will co-exist with its existing, mainstream models, at least in Australia.
With the CX-90, Mazda appears to be pushing further upmarket than the current CX-9 – suggesting a competitive set including the Audi Q7 and Land Rover Discovery more so than the Toyota Kluger.
It remains to be seen how the CX-90 will be priced in Australia, and just where it’ll sit relative to the Klugers and Q7s of the world.