A number of months in the past, we heard that Mazda was readying an inline-six engine to be used in upcoming bigger automobiles, together with giant sedans and crossover SUVs that would incorporate hybrid know-how. We even discovered some patent filings that confirmed the inline-six’s notably compact design. Mounted longitudinally—so, pointed north and south within the automotive, entrance to again—this elevated the potential for dynamically fascinating, rear-drive (or rear-drive-based all-wheel drive) fashions within the BMW mould. A Mazda investor presentation gives some extra particulars about what these automobiles will appear to be, and the way this new giant car platform might spawn a hybrid SUV for America.
The report was first noticed by the Japanese publication Car Watch and can be found here in PDF form. The great things is within the a part of the slide deck discussing upcoming know-how, which can arrive within the subsequent two years. Within the picture out there within the slide deck, each the inline-six engines sport turbocharging, and the flat cylinder head displayed on the fitting seems to be from the diesel model. The presentation states that the inline-six will likely be out there in all three of Mazda’s combustion sorts: conventional gasoline inside combustion, diesel, and the revolutionary Skyactiv-X spark-controlled compression-ignition. Bear in mind, we still don’t have any versions of Skyactiv-X on the market in North America and certain will not for a while; it is out there in Europe in inline-four format at the moment within the Mazda three and CX-30, nevertheless.
The inline-six is, as we already talked about, destined for bigger automobiles. To hit numerous carbon emissions targets, the slides make it clear that electrification will play a task on at the very least some, if not all, inline-six functions. We do know that the MX-30 crossover will launch in Japan as a hybrid earlier than heading to Europe as an EV. Mazda says plug-in hybrid and 48-volt gentle hybrid variants will likely be out there, though which automobiles will make the most of which choice is unclear.
Electrical automobiles may even be an vital a part of Mazda’s future plans, because the MX-30 EV attests to. Apparently, the rotary engine—a favourite of fanatics however a format with restricted applicability to up to date gasoline economic system and emissions requirements—appears to nonetheless be in play. We have been speaking for years about how the Wankel engine would possibly endure as a variety extender in EVs, because it did within the Demio (Mazda 2) EV in Japan. And in October 2020, Mazda confirmed this, saying the MX-30 EV will make the most of one. Fortunately nothing’s modified since then, and Mazda nonetheless plans to make use of the legendary rotary engine to increase the enchantment of its EV merchandise.
Mazda may even improve its manufacturing presence within the U.S. by way of a three way partnership with Toyota. The brand new plant—Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA, in Alabama—will produce a crossover using Toyota’s proprietary hybrid know-how. It isn’t clear if this will likely be a rebadged Toyota product, or a Mazda-designed product that makes use of Toyota’s powertrain tech—the latter appears extra doubtless. That stated, Mazda already produces vehicles rebadged as Toyotas, just like the Mazda 2-based Yaris iA, so something’s potential. As a facet word, the presentation claims that Mazda will promote a model of the Yaris (which is a distinct mannequin solely than the Yaris offered right here) with Toyota’s Hybrid System in Europe.
We count on the subsequent Mazda 6, and many of the firm’s upcoming crossovers and SUVs however particularly the CX-9, to undertake the longitudinal platform that may accommodate the inline-six—and with it, we hope, styling inspired by the Vision Coupe Concept. Smaller automobiles will proceed with transverse inline-fours, some electrified. However solely time will inform which variations we’ll get, and what engine variants will come to North America.