High-torque engines with great fuel economy in a gorgeous package? Sign us up!
Mazda has managed to be the most fuel-efficient automaker in America four years running despite not featuring a hybrid or an EV in its lineup. That being said, a change is on the horizon, but it involves diesel, not electrification. According to the Nikkei Asian Review, the Japanese automaker will debut a diesel CX-5 in the United States sometime in 2017, with an oil-burning Mazda6 to follow. Mazda believes that there is a demand for diesel-powered cars despite the whole Dieselgate fiasco. Its forecasting 50,000 sales between the SUV and sedan.
The goal is simple: Fill the gap that Volkswagen created in the market. If this plan works it would significantly boost the company’s sales. Mazda reported 319,184 sales in 2015 (fleet and retail). Adding an extra 50,000 sales to that number would represent a 15% boost in sales, a boost that comes without the need to launch a new model. The 2.2-liter diesel engine is available in two specs, one making 148 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque; the hi-po version kicks out 178 horsepower and 310 lb-ft. Both of those engines will be much torque-ier than the 2.5-liter four-cylinders currently on offer in both the CX-5 and 6, which make 184 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque.
While Mazda may be overestimating demand for diesel-powered cars we do think that offering a diesel Mazda6 and CX-5 stateside is a smart move. The combination of stunning design and awesome fuel economy should help move units, as will a lack of available diesel options in the segment. Really, how many entry-level diesel crossovers and sedans are out there? Not many.