Next-gen Mazda CX-5 to use Toyota’s THS hybrid powertrain?

The next-gen Mazda CX-5 could use Toyota’s THS hybrid powertrain and as Mazda deepens its alliance with Toyota, the next-gen CX-5 and many more Mazdas are likely to use Toyota’s hybrid tech to meet emission norms and stay competitive in the aspects of fuel efficiency and performance.

Mazda has confirmed in its Q2 FY2021 results announcement that a number of new hybrid vehicles that employ the THS (Toyota Hybrid System) are in the pipeline. The company has mentioned three models in the announcement. One is the SUV that is going to the upcoming Mazda-Toyota US plant in Huntsville, Alabama. The other model is a rebadged European Toyota Yaris hatchback, which could turn out to be the next-gen Mazda2. The body style of the third model is an unknown, but its destination is China where crossover-SUVs are the hugely popular.

Video Source: Motor Corporation

The Mazda SUV planned to be commissioned at the upcoming Mazda-Toyota US plant is a mystery since the announcement on January 10, 2018. All that Mazda had said is that it would be a “crossover model that will be newly introduced to the North American market.”

In an announcement on August 13, 2020, Mazda said that the jointly owned Alabama plant will have the capacity to manufacture up to 150,000 units of the future Mazda crossover (and up to 150,000 units of a Toyota SUV) annually. If Mazda earmarks such a high production capacity, it could only make financial sense for a popular car like the CX-5 which was unveiled in late-2016 for the U.S. market. Production at this facility is scheduled to commence in 2021.

Also consider that the CX-5 is the best-selling Mazda model in the US, and the company is able to comfortably push 150,000 units every year. In 2018, it had sold 150,622 CX-5s, and then in 2019, the annual sales count had increased to 154,545 units. While this year it is difficult to register an increase due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mazda still managed 116,167 units by the end of last month.

While the CX-5 is the only current Mazda model for which 150,000-unit annual production capacity makes sense in the US, Mazda’s 2018 press release hinted a new model. It could be either the currently right-hand drive-only CX-8 or an entirely new model that will enter production in the USA. Regardless, the next-gen Mazda CX-5, when it debuts by the end of 2022 (expected), should come with THS like the other upcoming Mazdas mentioned above.