In news that’s had all of us in the CT office wondering if we’ve been sucked into a wormhole and spat out roughly 10 years ago, it’s emerged that Mazda is building an all-new, naturally-aspirated inline-six.
Yes, it’s definitely still 2019, and no, you’re not dreaming. Mazda, sticking to its ‘right-sizing’ principles, confirmed the plans in a financial results report posted on its global website, which has since been removed. The Internet never forgets, however, so now the cat is well and truly out of the bag.
The engine will be for ‘large architecture’ vehicles, and branded as ‘SkyActiv-X’, meaning it’ll use Mazda’s massively complicated spark-controlled compression ignition technology. This allows for a much leaner burn, dropping both fuel usage and emissions.
It’s a longitudinally-mounted unit, and it will be developed alongside an inline-six ‘SkyActiv-D’ diesel engine. 48-volt mild hybrid technology will feature, and it looks as though a plug-in hybrid version is set to join the ranks.
As for that cars this stuff will be used in, we can’t be sure. Mazda may well be intending to take on the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes with a larger premium model.
It’ll be some time before we know more, but with a VW Golf GTI-battling hot hatch Mazda 3 on the way too, plus the market launch of SkyActiv-X happening soon, the Japanese firm is fast becoming a much more interesting company to observe than its larger rivals.