The powerplant has both supercharging and turbocharging.
Rumors about the next Mazda 6 sedan had us really excited. It promised a dynamic rear-wheel-drive layout and an inline six-cylinder engine in front, the kind of setup that used to be associated with virtually every version of the BMW 3 Series. While the recent discontinuation of the Mazda 6 in the USA has cast doubt on this materializing, one never knows exactly what the future holds. We do have more of an idea of what Mazda's engineers are up to, though. CarBuzz has uncovered a new patent by Mazda for a boosted engine that combines both turbocharging and an electric supercharger, which should mitigate the effects of turbo lag.
Twin-charged engines are not new but are rare, although Volvo does offer a powertrain in its XC90 SUV that is both turbo- and supercharged. Mazda's patent filing describes the following: "An engine with a boosting system is provided, which includes a turbocharger including a compressor provided in an intake passage of the engine and configured to boost intake air to be supplied to the engine, and a turbine provided in an exhaust passage of the engine. The engine includes an electric supercharger provided in the intake passage downstream of the compressor and configured to operate when the engine operates in a low-speed range."
The instant kick of power produced by a supercharger should, in theory, make models equipped with this engine good to drive at all speeds.
Mazda also made note of improved emissions since the oxidation catalyst is positioned closer to the engine than the turbine, increasing the temperature of the oxidation catalyst. Interestingly, Mazda mentioned a diesel engine, which is hardly the buttery smooth inline-six gas engine we imagined in the next Mazda 6 and CX-5, but the company states that the technology can also be applied to other engine types including gasoline. Mazda took its sweet time introducing turbocharging to models like the 3 sedan and hatchback but it was worth the wait. The new boosted engine with twin charging could further elevate Mazda above its traditional rivals and into closer contention with the Germans.