When Mazda unveiled the CX-60 in March, it highlighted the plug-in hybrid setup with its naturally aspirated 2.5-liter gasoline engine and electric motor making a combined 323 hp and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm). Then the diesel came along, a 3.3-liter straight-six good for 251 hp and 404 lb-ft (550 Nm). The Australian version gets both, plus a gasoline engine with the same 3.3-liter straight-six configuration and 48V mild-hybrid system as the oil-burner.

Judging solely by the output numbers, it doesn't seem too impressive. Mazda rates the newly developed gas engine at only 280 hp between 5,000 and 6,000 rpm while the 331 lb-ft (450 Nm) maximum torque arrives from 2,000 rpm until 3,500 rpm. These figures pale in comparison to those of the M139L engine that AMG installs in the new C63. The German performance sedan/wagon duo gets a much smaller 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing a whopping 476 hp and 402 lb-ft (545 Nm).

2022 Mazda CX-60 in Machine Grey

However, there could be a few explanations as to why the six-cylinder engine makes less than 300 hp. It might have to do with stricter emissions regulations and/or the engineers have deliberately detuned the 3.3-liter mill for better reliability and fuel economy. In an interview with CarExpert, a Mazda Australia spokesperson said the engine with different specifications will be installed in the widebody version of the SUV that will be sold in the United States as the CX-70. It'll also be installed in the bigger, three-row CX-90.

A different tune could possibly (and hopefully) mean more power for North America and it remains to be seen whether the type of fuel will make a difference as it does on the Mazda3 Turbo. The decision to roll out six-cylinder engines is a bit surprising considering most automakers are opting for downsizing to meet tougher emissions regulations. An under-stressed inline-six could be the solution to deliver the smoothness only an inline-six can deliver and combine it with improved reliability and lower emissions.

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