Mazda doesn't seem to be showing any signs of slowing down engine development. In its 2019 fiscal year financial report, Mazda announced that it's developing an all-new straight-six engine which will use its revolutionary SkyActiv-X spark-controlled compression-ignition technology
, which was , outlines some of the brand's future plans. In addition to expanding on the company's Kodo design language, introducing mild-hybrid powertrain technologies, and electric vehicles, the presentation reveals that Mazda is working on a new "Large Architecture." This platform will use a longitudinal engine layout to accommodate gas-powered SkyActiv-X and diesel straight-sixes. Mazda's iActiv all-wheel drive system will be developed for this platform, too. The presentation goes on to discuss future autonomous safety tech, plug-in hybrid cars, and ride-sharing studies.
The number one question on our minds is, which cars will we see these engines in? Right now, the only Mazda with a longitudinal engine configuration is the Miata. Our best guess is that this new platform will underpin the next-generation 6 sedan and CX-9 SUV. We've reached out to Mazda for more information, and here's what a spokesperson told us:
"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."
Considering the sheer amount of R&D involved in creating a new engine, it's surprising to see a relatively small company like Mazda committing to such an endeavor. We're curious to see what it has in store.