Brilliant news, everyone - Mazda has announced it plans to develop new six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.
Well, we say ‘announced’. The news actually comes from a presentation delivered to investors and uploaded to Mazda’s website (slide 26, if you’re interested). Said presentation reveals the new engines will be mounted longitudinally, offered with all-wheel drive and that they could be paired with mild- or plug-in-hybrid technology.
What does this mean for Mazda? Probably that it’s doing more big-ish cars. More SUV/crossover things, perhaps. At the very least, it seems likely the next Mazda 6 saloon will benefit from the new drivetrains, though it remains to be seen whether the company would even offer them as an option in Europe, or reserve them for the US and limit us to four cylinders. Same goes for any new SUVs - we might not get them. Mazda already doesn’t sell its big CX-9 SUV over here, and that’s a shame because it actually looks pretty good.
What we really want to happen, of course, is for Mazda to announce its new straight-six will appear in a production version of one of its stunning concepts, like the Vision Coupe Concept (pictured). Wouldn’t that be a thing? And if the next Mazda 6 looks anything like that, and has a straight-six and rear or all-wheel drive, we’ll be very happy indeed.