Mazda CX-50 hybrid with Toyota power presented in China
The Changan Mazda joint venture has unveiled the Mazda CX-50 Hybrid for the Chinese market, which it says will use Toyota powertrain technology.
At the Shanghai auto show, Mazda’s Chinese joint venture made several announcements, including details of the CX-50 petrol-powered range for that market, the debut of the CX-50 Hybrid and announcing its forthcoming electrification plans in the world’s largest auto market.
The Chinese car cloud network, which dips through the country’s social network Weibo, reports that pre-sales of the CX-50 have now started in China, with 2.0- and 2.5-litre petrol models priced at 159,800 yuan (US$34,660) to 212,000 yuan (US$45,982). .
For more engine news and videos, visit Engine >>
Changan Mazda will launch the CX-50 on Mount Everest in May – there is a mountain adventure theme in the CX-50 marketing materials in China.
The Japanese brand’s joint venture also unveiled the new CX-50 Hybrid, which will follow the petrol versions into the market and boost Changan Mazda’s electrification journey.
More specific details are few and far between, but reports are that the CX-50 HEV – as it’s also called in some presentations in Shanghai – will use Toyota hybrid technology in an interesting train from the brand.
Toyota Motor Corporation does hold a minority stake in Mazda (around 5.0 percent), but apart from a few rebadging jobs — like the Euro-market Mazda 2 Hybrid, which is essentially a Yaris in drag — we don’t have Toyota’s hybrid systems seen in one of Mazda’s own models so far.
While the specifics of the Mazda CX-50 Hybrid’s powertrain don’t seem to have been released anywhere, a hint might be forthcoming as to where the brand’s crossover will be produced, which could also hint at an introduction of the hybrid beyond China’s borders.
Changan Mazda will produce the domestic CX-50 at its Nanjing factory, but for the US, the crossover will be assembled alongside the Toyota Corolla Cross in Huntsville, Alabama. The model produced in the USA is also exported to Canada, Colombia and recently also to Mexico.
While the CX-50 and Corolla Cross share no common ground – the CX-50 rides on an expanded version of the Mazda 3 and CX-30 platform – it wouldn’t be surprising if the CX-50 Hybrid shared a version (or versions ) of the available hybrid drives of the Corolla Cross.
It’s unclear when Mazda Motor Corporation plans to launch the CX-50 Hybrid outside of the Chinese market, but the global unveiling in November 2021 confirmed that electrified powertrains are in the nameplate’s future, “including a traditional hybrid model.”
With the US-built model also set to eventually introduce hybrid technology, the joint factory with Toyota further hints at a powertrain collaboration with the Corolla Cross.
While the Corolla Cross offers both 90kW 1.8-liter and 146kW 2.0-liter gasoline-electric hybrid powertrains worldwide, only the 2.0-liter will be available in the US-built model version used.
We suspect the Mazda CX-50 Hybrid will offer a version of the 2.0-litre system, with reports from China suggesting that both front- and all-wheel-drive versions of the HEV will be available when it launches.
Gasoline versions of the Mazda CX-50 come standard with a six-speed automatic transmission, although a Toyota hybrid system suggests an eCVT be used in the CX-50 HEV – unless Mazda develops its own transmission or tailors a version of the six-speed. speed hybrid auto used in Toyota’s latest Hybrid Max models.
Alongside the CX-50 HEV, Changan Mazda briefly teased two upcoming electrified versions that appear to be sedans.
Sedans may be on the decline in most parts of the world, but they still play a strong role in the Chinese market.
Both vehicles, pictured under red leaves in the roadmap teaser above, will offer both plug-in hybrid and battery-electric powertrains, according to the graphic.
It’s unclear if these will be next-gen models or if they will be based on existing nameplates. Currently, the Mazda 3 and Mazda 6 are the only sedans that Changan Mazda sells in China.
This could be our biggest hint yet that the Mazda 6 is getting a new generation, although given Changan Mazda’s all-Chinese production, it could soon become another global nameplate relegated to a Chinese afterlife like the Ford Mondeo – us will explore this more in an upcoming story, stay tuned.
Mazda Australia has previously ruled out the CX-50 for an Australian launch, largely due to the fact that it is currently only produced in left-hand drive.
However, the brand has mentioned on numerous occasions locally that there will be a new generation of CX-5 in some form, but whether that will come in the form of an all-new CX-5 or be replaced by something similar remains unclear.
Mazda’s best-selling model worldwide is by far the CX-5, and in Australia it’s easily the brand’s golden child on the sales charts, despite its advancing age.
It makes sense that the newer CX-50 would eventually replace the CX-5, given its newer architecture, similar size, and familiar powertrain lineup – plus plans for electrified variants – but then again, the CX-5 should be phased out this generation, offering the new CX-60 cheaper variants, which even undercut the CX-8 in Japan.
As CarExpert reported last August, the CX-60 offers an entry-level 2.5-liter naturally aspirated petrol engine with rear-wheel drive in its home market. In base trim, this is cheaper than a base CX-8 in Japan, which starts at $40,190 locally.
Stay tuned to CarExpert and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
MORE: 2023 Mazda CX-50 unveiled, not for Australia