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Mazda kicking off onslaught of new SUVs with Alabama-made CX-50

Mazda is expanding its SUV lineup with new models underpinned by performance-minded architectures.

The CX-30 is Mazda's smallest SUV.

The CX-30 is Mazda’s smallest SUV.
(Mazda)

The make has been shifting toward a more premium position and will only offer its SUVs with standard all-wheel-drive.

The CX-50 will be the first to arrive and will be unveiled in November ahead of the start of production early next year at Mazda’s new factory in Alabama that it shares with Toyota. The CX-50 will be built on the same platform as the existing Japanese-made CX-5 and initially sold alongside it.

Mazda's new large platform can accommodate an inline-six-cylinder engine and rear-wheel-drive.

Mazda’s new large platform can accommodate an inline-six-cylinder engine and rear-wheel-drive.
(Mazda)

After that, the midsize two-row CX-70 and three-row CX-90 will be added to the lineup, the latter replacing the CX-9 and both using a new chassis with an inline-six-cylinder turbocharged engine with electric assist that will also underpin a rear-wheel-drive sports sedan. Mazda said the models will also be offered with plug-in hybrid powertrains and that it will sell narrower versions called the CX-60 and CX-80 in Europe and Asia.

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The automaker also said that it will launch a plug-in hybrid vehicle that uses a rotary gas engine as a range extender next year, although it didn’t confirm if it will be offered in the U.S., where it just launched the limited availability MX-30 EV battery-powered crossover, which has an electric only range of approximately 100 miles.

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