Mazda previews its inline-six engine before 2022 debut – paultan.org
It’s been known for some time that Mazda is in the midst of developing its own inline-six engine, and we finally get our first look at it, literally. Nestled within the Japanese carmaker’s latest financial results presentation is an image of the forthcoming powerplant, which is said to make its official debut in the next two years, or by 2022.
The image shows both the block of the inline-six motor and the fully-assembled engine, joined by a four-cylinder unit with hybrid technology placed in the middle. For now, the company is only willing to provide a few details about its new power units, although we should expect more information to trickle in over the next several months.
Focusing on the larger of the two engines shown, Mazda’s inline-six will be fitted to a new vehicle platform with a longitudinal engine layout and rear-wheel drive, with provisions for all-wheel drive as well. Based on the company’s presentation slides, the engine will be offered in petrol, diesel and SkyActiv-X versions, with support for electrification in the form of a plug-in hybrid or a 48-volt mild hybrid.
There’s no word on how much power the inline-six will make, but it’s expected to be paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, judging by patent images sighted earlier this year. This package is heavily rumoured to be used in the next-generation Mazda 6, which is said to be previewed by the stunning Vision Coupe concept from the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show.
The concept’s long-nosed, cab-rearward look certainly appears to be well suited for a front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, although the company has yet to confirm anything of the sort. Mazda has made it clear that it intends to push into more premium territory in the past, and it’s possible that the brand’s SUVs might benefit from this front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout as well. One can also wish for a new sports car model to accompany the MX-5, but don’t get your hopes up.
Shifting our attention to the engine in the middle of the image, Mazda’s electrified four-cylinder engine will likely incorporate hybrid technology from Toyota, given that both companies are in cahoots with each other.
According to the Mazda, it plans to use the Toyota Hybrid System (THS) in a new SUV that will be built in a new facility based in the United States. If you recall, both parties established a joint-venture company – Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, USA (MTMUS) – back in March 2018, which will produce vehicles in Huntsville, Alabama from 2021.
Meanwhile, Europe will get an “OEM-supplied model” based on the Yaris, with Mazda also planning to use its CO2 pool that is shares with Toyota. Mazda says it will also sell a model equipped with THS in China, but there are no details about this for now.
Beyond the inline-six and electrified four-cylinder, the company also reconfirmed it will have “multiple electrification technologies” using rotary engine technology. The company has announced previously that its first fully-electric vehicle, the MX-30, will have a rotary engine acting as a range extender, providing customers with more powertrain options – the model can also be had with a petrol-powered mild hybrid.
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