Japan-inspired Mazda CX-60 interior shows the firm’s upscale ambitions

Mazda is gradually revealing details about the CX-60 crossover it will unveil on March 8. Built on a long-awaited rear-wheel-drive platform, the soft-roader will help the Japanese firm move upmarket, and a preview of its interior shows us what’s in store for passengers.

Japanese design trends had a significant influence on the cabin. Mazda explained that its designers were inspired by Ma, a name that denotes “the calm and dignified beauty of empty space,” Kaichô, “the harmony which comes from mixing different materials and textures,” and Musubu, “the uniquely Japanese way of blending textiles.” In the CX-60, the materials used include maple wood, leather, Japanese textiles, and bright accents. It sounds like Mazda is leveraging its heritage in a bid to stand out from competitors in the premium space.

This fresh approach to design likely characterizes how Mazda plans to offer more upscale cars. Japanese stitching notably joins two pieces of fabric on the passenger’s side of the dashboard, while the door panels feature wood trim, cloth upholstery, and chrome accents.

Outside, we’re expecting that the CX-60 will adopt Mazda’s elegant Kodo design language with a twist: it’s built on a rear-wheel-drive platform, and spy shots published in November 2021 reveal that the proportions have been set accordingly. The hood is relatively long and the dash-to-axle ratio is longer than what you normally see in this segment of the market. Up front, the familiar shield-shaped grille remains and it’s linked to the headlights by thin strips of LEDs. The CX-60 is recognizable as a Mazda, yet it looks different than the CX-5.

Power will come from a gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain built around a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and tuned to develop at least 300 horsepower. Buyers in some markets might be able to select Mazda’s upcoming straight-six engine as well. And, in spite of all the talk about rear-wheel-drive, it’s too early to tell if the configuration will be offered; all-wheel-drive may be the only setup available for some. It’s a configuration that gives cars a more upscale-looking design, but it’s also one that many crossover drivers are not particularly interested in.

Mazda will introduce the CX-60 on March 8, and it will again expand its range of people-movers when it releases a bigger model with three rows of seats named CX-80. Unofficial reports claim that the CX-60 and the CX-80 will not be sold in the United States. Instead, we’ll reportedly get a pair of bigger (and similarly upscale SUVs) named CX-70 and CX-90, respectively, that will be built on the same platform.

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