THE first plug-in hybrid from Mazda is to be the new CX-60 large SUV which will be part of a range of models priced from £43,950 when they go on sale later this year.
Powered by a 2.5-litre Skyactiv petrol engine with a 100kW electric motor, the CX-60 PHEV has 327bhp on tap and with an eight-speed automatic transmission it has a theoretical fuel return of 188mpg with emission of 33g/km.
Performance figures are a 0 to 62mph acceleration of 5.8 seconds and a top speed of 124mph.
The CX-60 will be launched in PHEV guise in the autumn and eventually it will be joined by two versions featuring Mazda's new 48-volt mild hybrid system - a straight-six 3.0-litre e-Skyactiv X petrol and 3.3-litre Skyactiv-D diesel.
Both these powerplants are mated to the same eight-speed automatic transmission and i-Activ All-Wheel Drive system as the PHEV, but the e-Skyactiv D diesel unit and the e-Skyactiv X petrol engine have also been developed to be equipped with rear-wheel drive only.
Three trim grades will be available - Exclusive-Line, Homura and range topping Takumi.
The £46,700 Homura is visually distinguished from the Exclusive-Line by body coloured wheel arch mouldings and a dark plated signature wing grille surround, plus gloss black mirrors and honeycomb grille treatment, while 20-inch black alloy wheels finish the exterior look.
Inside, the Homura grade features seat heating for the outer rear seats and ambient lighting, and is equipped with the Mazda Driver Personalisation System that will recognise the occupant of the driver's seat via facial recognition and automatically adjust the surroundings - seat position, steering wheel, mirrors, head-up display, even the sound and climate control settings - to fit their physique as well as their personal preferences.
There's also the option to add a Convenience Pack and Driver Assistance Pack to the Mazda CX-60 Homura.
At the top of the range is the £48,050 Takumi, which features 20-inch black machined alloy wheels and body-coloured mirrors, combined with chrome plated signature wing grille treatment and side window surround, while the gloss black bar type radiator grille design is another feature special to the flagship grade.
Like the Homura, there's the option to add the Convenience Pack and Driver Assistance Pack.
Highlights in the £1,000 Convenience Pack include privacy glass, 360 view monitor with see through view and wireless phone charging, while the Driver Assistance Pack adds a large tally of additional active safety technology for £1,100.
The £1,400 Comfort Pack is only offered with the Exclusive-Line, but adds high-grade features like 20-inch alloy wheels, electric front seats, front seat ventilation, rear seat heaters and the Mazda Driver Personalisation System technology.
Jeremy Thomson, managing director of Mazda in the UK, said: "the Mazda CX-60 heralds the start of a new chapter for Mazda, not only is it our first car with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, but it also sets new standards for interior quality, design and technology - highlighting Mazda's uniquely Japanese premium brand direction".
He added: "With the positioning of the high voltage battery at the centre of the car and as low as possible, this is a PHEV with a particularly low centre of gravity. This, combined with a permanent all-wheel drive system incorporating shaft-driven transfer of torque between the axles, gives the car superior handling characteristics on a par with the best in the premium segment."
The CX-60, which is being built in the United States, is the first of two new models from the company's Large Product group to be introduced throughout Europe during the next two years, with the second being the three-row Mazda CX-80.