It's not a rotary, but it is pretty cool.
The 2023 Mazda CX-90 will be powered by a hybrid powertrain. Despite being one of the most fuel-efficient automakers in the US (because it only offers four-cylinder engines), Mazda is far behind the rest of the industry on electrification. That should change a bit with the release of the new CX-90. Mazda's North American division just announced this upcoming SUV model will be the brand's first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), and it will be available in all 50 states. This clearly shows that the CX-90 was designed for a broader US audience, unlike the electric MX-30, which is only sold in California.
This is our first clear look at the CX-90 since the initial teasers were only meant to show off the new Artisan Red Premium paint. Oddly, this new teaser shows the car in white. We get a decent idea of what the rear end will look like, including a new taillight shape, what appears to be a sloping roofline, and an "e-Skyactiv PHEV" badge with blue accents to denote the hybrid powertrain.
Few details were shared about the PHEV setup other than it will use an e-Skyactiv powertrain tuned specifically for North America. This powertrain will deliver a healthy combination of power and efficiency with the "responsiveness, performance, and driving dynamics that define Mazda vehicles."
Mazda already offers a PHEV system in the European CX-60 crossover, where it delivers 322 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. Its 2.5-liter four-cylinder produces 189 hp on its own with another 134 hp coming from the electric motor. That would already be a huge upgrade over the gas-only CX-9, which only develops 250 hp (on premium fuel) from its 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
It's unclear if Mazda will offer any other engine options for the CX-90. The smaller CX-60 also comes with a newly-developed mild-hybrid turbocharged inline-six producing 280 hp, which could work well in this application.
Perhaps Mazda could surprise us by offering the six-cylinder engine paired with the PHEV setup rather than the smaller four-cylinder engine used in Europe. Regardless of what sits under the hood, the CX-90 will be the most powerful Mazda ever sold in the US when it debuts next month.