We drove Mazda’s diesel CX-60: Quiet, powerful and environmentally friendly

In the age of heated electrification in the automotive industry, Mazda takes a bold step forward. Klix.ba had the opportunity to test the Mazda CX 60 Diesel e-Skyactiv D in Catalonia.Mazda presented the cleanest diesel yet in the direction of the development towards the most environmentally friendly and cleanest engines. When someone talks about diesel today, the first thing that comes to mind is outdated engines that have been worn down by the ravages of time.

However, Mazda does not believe in it. While we’re aware of the electrification era we’ve entered, this Japanese automaker believes a diesel engine can still be acceptable. This is exactly what they offered in the CX-60 e-Skyactiv model. Defying all trends, Mazda has created a completely new six-cylinder in-line engine with a volume of 3.3 liters.

Mazda achieved the breakthrough with an innovative combustion process with electronically controlled injection and distribution of the air-fuel mixture.

After being one of the first in the world to test the new Mazda flagship in Germany last year, we have now tested this large SUV with powerful 200 and 254 hp diesels in the beautiful spring landscape of Catalonia. Who would have thought a few years ago that we would be happy about such a large diesel engine?

When Mazda announced this engine, they pointed out optimistically that the 200 hp engine would even consume less than five liters of diesel per 100 kilometers on average. We in Barcelona and Girona were convinced that they weren’t far off with that prediction. It should be emphasized that in the 200 hp version, this engine drives only the rear wheels, another distinctive feature of Mazda. Unlike most SUV models, the single-axle version puts power to the rear wheels because Mazda believes it delivers the smoothness and performance demanded in this class.

In the combination of city driving and driving on the open road, the display showed a consumption of 5.2 to 6.4 liters per 100 kilometers. This is very acceptable, knowing that in a large SUV model, the mass of which reaches almost 2 tons, you drive a diesel with many cylinders.

Still “rightsizing” instead of “downsizing”

The downsizing trend began long before electrification, but Mazda is still rightly resisting it. So, during the design of the all-new 3.3-litre diesel engine, they began by calculating the Mazda CX-60’s optimal emissions based on its weight. In addition to improving power delivery through increased engine capacity, Mazda designed the engine to use excess air to improve combustion. This results in more agile acceleration, lower NOx emissions at high revs and power outputs, and better thermal efficiency due to a wider range of combustion speeds.

Two technologies in particular ensure that all excess air is used during combustion, regardless of engine speed. The first is the use of ovoid combustion chambers that split the air/fuel mixture into two zones within the cylinder, resulting in a larger combustion area for the “lean” air/fuel mixture with minimal unburned residue. The second is a high-pressure fuel supply technology that enables fast and precise injection. Together, these two technologies contribute significantly to the Mazda CX-60’s outstanding range and make this engine a much more attractive choice than the petrol ones we’ve driven before.

Foto: Klix.ba

An additional and major benefit is that this straight-six uses a simple design, resulting in a similar engine weight to a traditional four-cylinder diesel, minimizing the difference in ride and handling despite the larger displacement.

Still, it doesn’t work without electricity – mild hybrid with M Hybrid Boost

For the first time at Mazda, the MHEV48 with mild hybrid technology is used in both versions of the six-cylinder diesel. This technology brings not only fuel savings, but also better environmental performance by using an electric motor to assist the engine at low loads (idle to low rpm) where internal combustion engines are not very efficient.

The electric motor’s launch assist is noticeable as soon as the driver steps on the accelerator pedal, helping to further develop the distinctive Jinba-Ittai driving experience that Mazda has emphasized across its model generations.

The power of the diesel engine is further emphasized by regenerative braking

Mazda CX-60 MHEV drives feature a regenerative braking coordination system. This coordinates the control of conventional brakes and the engine’s energy regeneration system in order to achieve the intended braking force with energy regeneration without loss.

A ‘brake by wire’ system is used to detect the braking force required and generate as much energy as possible in that area. It then makes up for any shortcomings with the stopping power generated by the mechanical brakes, achieving both natural braking feel and good fuel economy.

The compact and innovative brake system unit integrates the operation of the brake, brake booster and brake control system. Because the brakes are controlled by electrical signals, this design allows for more complex brake control compared to previous mechanical systems.

The Mazda CX-60 MHEV also handles the cooperative control of the four-wheel drive and engine regeneration system. It works by increasing all-wheel drive torque during motor-driven regenerative deceleration, stabilizing vehicle position under braking, and recovering more energy.

All these enumerated technologies they used at Mazda related to the combustion process that reduces the emission of harmful gases and fuel consumption contributed to the exceptional driving pleasure. We saw that in relaxed cruising on the freeway, but also on winding roads. The big Mazda SUV with the new diesel engine is very quiet, comfortable and refined in manners you would expect from a top of the range brand.

Foto: Klix.ba

As we have already seen, the CX-60’s cockpit has a unique feeling of being one with the car. The center is dominated by a subtly integrated screen that you control with a controller on the center console, and everything is very intuitive and, above all, requires you to keep your eyes on the road. The interior materials are extremely high quality and worthy of, if not better than, the class of this SUV, and aside from being nice and soft to the touch in the CX-60, you don’t have to worry about some of the interior being damaged, scratched and so easily similar.

The diesel Mazda CX-60 is already available in Bosnia and Herzegovina, so in the configurator it starts from 90,980 KM in the 200 hp version with rear-wheel drive, while the more powerful version with 254 hp and AWD all-wheel drive comes available from 101,180 KM.

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