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Mazda has confirmed the Australian release of what will be its most expensive SUV ever.
Pencilled in for the end of next year, the just-released CX-90 mild-hybrid turbo all-wheel-drive three-row SUV flagship will gain another, more electrified option in the guise of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) version.
However, how much it will cost and other information remain a mystery for now, as Mazda Australia Managing Director, Vinesh Bhindi, refused to divulge any other details following the announcement.
“We will be adding a plug-in powertrain to the CX-90 towards the end of next year,” he told Australian journalists at the launch of the regular mild-hybrid G50e petrol and D50e diesel models in Cessnock, NSW, last week.
“That’s all I can say at this stage on that topic, but we will confirm more details closer to the launch time.”
So, how much do we think the CX-90 PHEV will cost?
Based on the pricing structure within the smaller, closely-related CX-60 range released several weeks ago in Australia, where the P50e PHEV commands a premium of over $10,000 over the equivalent G50e and D50e models, it is safe to assume that the CX-90 PHEV will likely kick off from nearly $90,000 for the expected Touring opener.
Furthermore, the pricing could even exceed $120,000 for the Azami top-of-the-line grade once one of the special equipment package bundles is also added on.
This pricing could end up being even higher, as – according to Mazda Motor Corporation CX-90 Program Manager, Mitsuru Wakiie – the PHEV in the CX-90 is in a higher-state of tune compared to the one found in the CX-60 PHEV.
“The CX-90 runs on higher-octane fuel, and so computer settings are changed as well,” he told CarsGuide.
“So, by doing so, we can produce a higher output.”
Speaking of outputs, the North American-market version of the CX-90 PHEV uses Mazda’s long-serving 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine paired with a 68kW electric motor powered by a 17.8kWh Lithium-ion battery. Combined power and torque figures are 241kW and 500Nm respectively.
Overseas fuel consumption figures have the PHEV averaging 4.2L/100km, while up to 42km of pure electric range is available.
With Australian consumers at best lukewarm on the idea of PHEVs, it may come as a shock to some observers that Mazda has decided to roll the dice with CX-90 PHEV in this market, particularly as long-time proponents of the technology, Mercedes-Benz, has decided to scale back its PHEV line-up in Australia.
Finally, at the other end of the price spectrum, Mazda Australia Marketing Director, Alastair Doak, put paid to speculation that rear-wheel-drive versions of the CX-90 could be in the pipeline for the not-too-distant future.
“We always offer value for money, and AWD is the most sophisticated version of the powertrains, he said. “We’ve made that standard across CX-60 and CX-90… and at the moment that’s all we’re considering.
“It’s not part of our thinking at the moment.”
Do you think a $100K-plus Mazda seven-seater SUV PHEV will work in Australia?