Mazda is inching closer to competing with the luxury brands.
Although Mazda is a mainstream automaker, the Japanese brand has been inching closer to luxury status with high-quality interiors and exotic exterior design. Mazda still has some room to go if it wants to be considered a full luxury brand, but the company is making big strides. Along with major improvements in style and interior quality, Mazda is stepping up its game in powertrain development. We are still waiting for the arrival of the revolutionary SkyActiv-X engine but the diesel-powered CX-5 should hold us over for now.
Mazda has also been flirting with the idea of bringing back the rotary engine but a production application has yet to be announced. If you've been desperately waiting for Mazda to bring out a more potent engine, a recent fiscal report uncovered by Jalopnik should bring a smile to your face.
The report seems to have been taken down by Mazda but the 25-page document outlines plans to develop a mild-hybrid system, electric drivetrain, and new inline-six SkyActiv and SkyActiv-D engines. We reached out to Mazda to confirm these plans and a spokesperson told CarBuzz, "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.”
The details regarding the new SkyActiv-X and diesel-powered SkyActiv-D inline-six engines are still minimal, but Mazda has confirmed both will be mounted longitudinally. This means Mazda's next-generation large architecture, which will likely underpin the Mazda6 and CX-6, should utilize a rear-wheel-drive layout. This is an exciting proposition for enthusiasts who value Mazda's excellent driving dynamics but would prefer RWD and more power.
Mazda's most powerful 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder currently produces 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, so we assume this new inline-six will be even more potent. BMW has stuck with the inline-six layout while Jaguar and Mercedes have recently switched over from using V6s. Offering a six-cylinder engine has the potential to majorly boost Mazda's image as a luxury brand. We'll be sure to update you if Mazda releases any more information.