Mazda straight-six engine revealed in presentation

Six-cylinder petrol/diesel unit is reportedly linked to new sedan and wagon due to launch in 2022.

Mazda has used its third-quarter financial presentation to show its new straight-six engine, which is likely to be used by the next Mazda 6 sedan and wagon. It will also likely be used in SUVs such as the CX-9.

The new six-cylinder unit, which was announced in 2019, is set to be offered “after 2022” and will be available in petrol, diesel and Skyactiv-X compression-ignition petrol guises.

Technical details for the engine are thin on the ground. All we know so far is that it will be installed longitudinally and mated to a four-wheel drive system, although possibly not exclusively the latter.

Its existence is significant, however, because earlier reports from Japan and the US have indicated that the replacement for the 6 – also expected to be shown in 2022 – will adopt this engine.

Those reports indicated that the model would be rear-wheel-drive, but it’s entirely possible that four-wheel-drive variants could also be offered.

If Mazda does intend to use such powertrains in the next 6, it would push the car’s positioning further upmarket – something Mazda had been trying to do with its smaller models, such as the 3.

Rivals for the 6 would therefore include everything from the BMW 3 Series to the Kia Stinger.

Expect styling inspiration for the new 6 to be taken from cars such as the Vision Coupe concept, which was shown back in 2017 as a preview for the brand’s latest Kodo design language phase, first used on the 3.

Mazda has previewed the engine alongside a new plug-in hybrid powertrain and an in-line-four engine. The latter will use 48V mild-hybrid technology and is likely to replace today’s four-cylinder unit in due course. It remains to be seen which models will use the PHEV powertrain.

Lawrence Allan

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