Mazda is working to be considered a premium automaker, the push beginning in earnest in the U.S. with the CX-90 crossover that enters production later this year, and the CX-70 to follow. They’ll be part of the brand’s new Large Product group, featuring longitudinal inline-six engines and especially zoom-zoomy driving dynamics. To help them look the part, Mazda’s color designers have come up with a third special paint using its proprietary Takuminuri process to join Soul Red Metallic and Machine Gray Premium. Called Rhodium White Premium and available this summer in Europe on the CX-60 we won’t get, the Rhodium White coating is both thinner and more vibrant than Snowflake White Metallic, and more flattering to the company’s Kodo design language.
As with the red and the gray, this new white is formed of three layers. At the bottom is a color layer using a “newly developed white pigment that delivers silky smooth, fine-grain white” and which emphasizes translucence. Above that comes the “ultra-tin high luminance” reflecting layer of aluminum flakes arrayed to showcase the vehicle’s sheetmetal. A top clear coat seals everything in. After that, the Takuminuri process applies the paint to the vehicle in a way that makes the most impact to the human eye. Mazda says Takuminuri “uses data obtained through simulation painting done by experienced human painters — such as the distribution of coating thickness — to improve robotic painting.” We’ll find out when we see it on roads in a few months, but we’re told the result is “a pure white inspired by Japanese aesthetics finding beauty in simplicity and the absence of superfluous elements.”
Furthermore, the middle color layer of Rhodium White Premium is up to 30% thinner than the color layer of Snowflake White Metallic, meaning less paint gets used.
The CX-90 to be the beneficiary of said cosmetics will offer three rows compared to the two-row CX-70 due next year. Our market could be limited to the 3.0-liter gas versions of the inline-six in mild hybrid and PHEV forms, since Mazda hasn’t got its Skyactiv-X technology certified here and diesels aren’t the go right now. Output is anticipated to come in somewhere in the mid-300-hp range, that output sent to both axles as standard.