OK, so we admit that the reveal of a family-oriented SUV wouldn’t normally be a significant blip on our automotive radar.
…But when we heard that Mazda’s packing its new CX-90 crossover with an available turbocharged inline(!) six—well, our ears understandably perked up.
Here’s a good refresher 101 on turbos if you’re interested: Examining the Fundamentals of Turbocharging
First, the car: It’s a three-row SUV from Mazda. AWD comes standard and there’s plug-in a hybrid drivetrain available along with that aforementioned turbo six.
While exact specs on the vehicle itself were scant, promo video footage shows it pulling a relatively large Airstream-style camper, so we imagine it’ll have pretty stout payload/towing numbers.
Alright Enough About That, Let’s Talk Engines
Mazda’s the “Zoom-Zoom” company after all, so we were excited to get some juicy details on this new 3.3L turbo six powerplant.
For starters, the engine’s official name is “e-Skyactiv G 3.3L Inline 6 Turbo” and it’s billed as “the highest horsepower and torque from a mass production gasoline engine” that Mazda has ever designed and built in house.
Into Mazdas? You may appreciate this: Lot Shots Find of the Week: First-Gen Mazda RX-7
Though we didn’t get any pretty engine pictures in the press release, Mazda wasn’t shy about giving us some hard numbers: 340 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque on premium fuel.
It’s also got a mild hybrid capability where the engine is coupled to a small electric motor to improve acceleration. Mazda also says the six’s small electric motor completely takes over the propulsion when the CX-90 is at low speeds too.
An Available Plug-in Hybrid with a 2.5L Four
In addition to that turbocharged I6, there’s a more formal plug-in hybrid option on the CX-90 as well—the “e-Skyactiv PHEV powertrain” to be exact. It couples Mazda’s current 2.5L four cylinder engine to an electric motor to produce 323 horsepower. Torque remains at a tidy 369 lb.-ft.
It’s also worth noting that Mazda had to develop an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission to work with the longitudinal layout of the new inline six.
When it hits dealer lots, the new turbo I6 (and the CX-90 wrapped around it) will go on sale as a 2024 model.