Automotive

Published on May 10th, 2019 | by Subhash Nair

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Mazda Plans to Make Inline 6 Engines for Larger Vehicles

According to a presentation by Mazda on their 2019 Financial Results and Forecast, they’re working on a new inline-6 engine.

Just like premium European brands Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda is looking to repopularise the straight six. These engines are known for their inherent balance and smoothness. Mazda are developing 2 such engines: a Skyactiv-X and Skyactiv-D. No traditional Skyactiv-G petrol engine.

Mazda will also be introducing a 48V mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrain. Both Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar Land Rover have paired such units to their new inline 6 engines.

But wait! how are Mazda planning to fit such a long engine transversely? Just about all their vehicles use a transverse engine layout with front or all-wheel drive. The MX-5 is the only exception, and even that engine bay looks like it’s at capacity with an inline 4 motor.

4th generation MX-5 engine bay
But perhaps there’s room if they move things around in front

Well, the slides also suggest that that these two straight six motors will be plonked into a new ‘Large Architecture’ with a longitudinal engine layout. Very interesting indeed. Looks like Mazda are pushing in the direction premium hard in the next few years.

Advantages and disadvantages of straight six engines:

What else was on those slides?

In the medium term, Mazda are planning on improving their Kodo design language and Skyactiv technologies. They also took time to acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses.

They mentioned improvements to their ‘small architecture’. Upgrades to Skyactiv-G and Skyactiv-D inline 4 engines are in the pipeline. Mild hybrids and battery electric vehicles are planned too. Mazda Connect 2 with an ‘on board communications device’, connected services, more advanced safety systems, and Mazda Co-Pilot were talked about too.

There’s also an indication that their new generation of cars are moving up a notch in terms of perceived value and asking price. Mazda truly are planning on leaving the mass market behind. Perhaps they see cheap, high-quality Chinese vehicles as a real threat to more affordable offerings.


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