Mazda6 Set For Huge Engine Update


Mazda's 2.2L Skyactiv-D has apparently been greenlit for sale in the US-market Mazda 6.

For years now, Mazda has indicated that it would bring its latest Skyactiv-D diesel engine to the US-market Mazda6, but so far, that powerplant has failed to materialize anywhere but in the CX-5 crossover starting in 2019.

Now, it might finally be the Mazda6's turn, as a CARB certification document published late last month indicates that the turbocharged 2.2L Skyactiv-D four-cylinder has been approved for sale in Mazda's mid-size sedan. The document specifically refers to the model-year 2020 Mazda 6 with transmission "SA6", which we can only assume is a reference to its six-speed automatic.

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It's still unknown whether the diesel will be available with front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, or both. The Mazda6 doesn't currently offer AWD in the US, but Mazda has indicated in the past that such a drivetrain was imminent, and it might make sense for the automaker to launch both new options simultaneously.

In the CX-5, the 2.2L Skyactiv-D makes 168 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque, making it substantially less potent than the available turbocharged 2.5L petrol engine at 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft, but still plenty enough to motivate the mid-size car.

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The timing of Mazda's Skyactiv-D engine launch in the US-market Mazda6 is a bit strange. Not only is the country still reeling from Dieselgate, in which Volkswagen's diesel models were found to be spewing several times the legal limit of nitrous-oxide emissions, but the smart money says that Mazda is likely planning to replace its current 6 soon enough. The current-generation model, launched for the 2016 model year, received a mid-cycle refresh for 2018, and Mazda has shown with the 3 that it's begun embracing a shorter product lifecycle than the industry standard eight years.

Is there going to be a new diesel engine to the Mazda6 model line just for the company to replace the car outright in another year or two? Time will tell.

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