Mazda locks in straight-six engine for 2022

Mazda confirms its straight-six powerplants are nearing production

Mazda six cylinder engine 2022

Mazda has revealed its inline-six engine is nearing production, outlining plans to introduce it within two years.

The brand buried the update within a presentation on its financials and future plans, confirming the new engine among a list of “investments” that will raise brand value in the medium- to long-term.

Those time horizons are clarified later in the document, billing the six-cylinder to launch by the year 2022.

Mazda inline six

Mazda did warn these projections could change based on the global economy. But given it’s reconfirmed inline-six development even after a global pandemic underlines its commitment to the technology.

As for specifications, it says the inline-six will feature “(Gasoline/Diesel/X)” technologies, implying it will rely on the brand’s high-tech Skyactiv-X engineering that focuses on high-compression and fuel efficiency.

A grainy picture from the document reveals that both engine versions will sport turbocharging, DOHC and narrow galleries in each cylinder head – the latter adding strength to handle high compression ratios.

As for where the engine goes, Mazda mentioned the engine under “Large product/multiple electrification technologies”, heavily hinting at CX model lines given it’s also labelled with “AWD” in the presentation.

Mazda inline six

This also goes some way to aiding speculation that the Mazda 6 will switch to rear-wheel drive.

Mazda’s also included a hybrid inline-four in the photo, pictured with a longitudinally-mounted transmission to imply it’s also going to be offered alongside models that welcome the inline-six.

This adds to the firm's plans for "multiple electrification" strategies that include rotary engine technology as a range extender for an EV.

Original story May 10, 2019:

Mazda’s March 2019 fiscal earnings report has let slip that the brand is developing an all-new straight-six Skyactiv-X engine.

Among the 25 pages that explain the manufacturer’s product plans going forward, which includes further development of Kodo design language and the creation of a mild-hybrid system, the mention of a Skyactiv-X straight-six petrol sits alongside an equal listing of a Skyactiv-D straight-six diesel.

American based publication Jalopnik was the first to discover the news, and subsequently reached out to a Mazda spokesperson who said “We’re excited to bring these powertrains to our future vehicles as we continue on our path to premium. We know our fans will be yearning for additional details, however specific models, performance figures and market rollout will be disclosed at an appropriate time.”

Not much is known apart from an initial mention, but the new engine will use Mazda’s revolutionary compression-ignition technology which is designed to give petrol engines the fuel efficiency of a diesel.

While Skyactiv-X engines are being introduced in the new Mazda 3 in Europe next month, our first taste of the new technology won’t come until Q3 of this year. 

Joining brands like Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and BMW who have re-embraced the straight-six of late, Mazda will be alone amongst its Japanese rivals, who have all moved away from the engine format. Toyota famously opted not to use the revival of the Supra as an opportunity to develop its own inline-six, instead deriving its new sports car from BMW-supplied mechanicals.

What isn’t clear just yet is which car the new engine will feature in. We can only guess that the larger sized engine will match a larger car like the next Mazda 6 or CX-9, but we’ll have to wait to find out for sure.


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