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NickD
NickD PowerDork
5/9/19 11:03 a.m.

So, Mazda just casually tossed out that they are developing a SkyActiv-X (the compression ignition system) and a SkyActiv-D (diesel) inline-6 on their Fiscal Year March 2019 results.  They also said "We’re excited to bring these powertrains to our future vehicles as we continue on our path to premium. " Sounds like maybe Mazda is out to challenge Genesis? I'm curious to see what these engines end up in, and I hope that this doesn't go the way of stillborn luxury companion brand Amati.

https://jalopnik.com/mazda-challenges-bmw-and-mercedes-shames-toyota-with-d-1834636620?utm_campaign=socialflow_jalopnik_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow&utm_source=jalopnik_facebook&fbclid=IwAR3JIqKcAnAq8N58iVVDNO7CBjxnWRA4x8nTmk_R9nPJOvdnGpk6Lg6ZGVo

G_Body_Man
G_Body_Man UltraDork
5/9/19 11:08 a.m.

Mazda did say that they're on the path to premium. They're in a better position to take on the Stinger GT and the Genesis lineup than any other mainstream carmaker right now. I know the Shinari came out three years before the current Mazda 6 and previewed its design language, maybe it's the same deal with the Vision Coupe and the next Mazda 6?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/9/19 11:12 a.m.

Straight six turbo-diesel? Naah, the market will never accept it laugh

That is interesting. When's the last time a new I6 was brought to market? I thought they'd been killed by packaging.

NickD
NickD PowerDork
5/9/19 11:13 a.m.

I'm curious if this new engine will go in a new 929 (Mazda9 perhaps) or a revived Millenia nameplate, or if they are going to make the next Mazda6 into a RWD/AWD budget BMW 3-series. I'm going to be that the engine is a 3.0L so they can use the rods and pistons from the SkyActiv-X 4-cylinder, and likely the valvetrain and FEAD from it as well. It'd cut down on  development and parts prices

NickD
NickD PowerDork
5/9/19 11:14 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:
That is interesting. When's the last time a new I6 was brought to market? I thought they'd been killed by packaging.
 

Are you being sarcastic? Because Jag and Mercedes just came out with new I6s

codrus
codrus GRM+ Memberand UberDork
5/9/19 11:27 a.m.
NickD said:
Keith Tanner said:
That is interesting. When's the last time a new I6 was brought to market? I thought they'd been killed by packaging.
 

Are you being sarcastic? Because Jag and Mercedes just came out with new I6s

Heh.  I was reading an article yesterday where Toyota was talking about how there were no sensible financial returns on making a new inline-6 in today's market, and that's why they had to partner with BMW.

 

NickD
NickD PowerDork
5/9/19 11:29 a.m.
codrus said:
NickD said:
Keith Tanner said:
That is interesting. When's the last time a new I6 was brought to market? I thought they'd been killed by packaging.
 

Are you being sarcastic? Because Jag and Mercedes just came out with new I6s

Heh.  I was reading an article yesterday where Toyota was talking about how there were no sensible financial returns on making a new inline-6 in today's market, and that's why they had to partner with BMW.

 

Yeah, either Mazda knows something Toyota doesn't or they are setting themselves up for trouble. It is kind of funny to see them thumbing their nose at Toyota though. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
5/9/19 11:33 a.m.

Perhaps Mazda sees the engine being able to be used in more than one platform down the road? 

Because Toyota is right. It doesn't make sense to spend hundreds of millions to develop an engine for a single, low-volume platform.

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/9/19 11:37 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Straight six turbo-diesel? Naah, the market will never accept it laugh

That is interesting. When's the last time a new I6 was brought to market? I thought they'd been killed by packaging.

Didn't BMW and Mercedes both bring back new inline 6's after customer complaints?

In any case, I'm super excited for inline 6 Mazdas!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/9/19 11:41 a.m.
NickD said:
Keith Tanner said:
That is interesting. When's the last time a new I6 was brought to market? I thought they'd been killed by packaging.
 

Are you being sarcastic? Because Jag and Mercedes just came out with new I6s

No, I was asking a legitimate question. Thanks for the answer. I don't pay all that much attention to Jaguar and Mercedes because their cars don't interest me much. I thought they were all going to turbo V6s and V8s.

The0retical
The0retical UberDork
5/9/19 11:47 a.m.

I'm more interested in the EV slide.

Mazda has been highly resistant to getting on the bandwagon. As a result I've heard next to nothing them doing any EV or PHEV R&D.

NickD
NickD PowerDork
5/9/19 11:53 a.m.
The0retical said:

I'm more interested in the EV slide.

Mazda has been highly resistant to getting on the bandwagon. As a result I've heard next to nothing them doing any EV or PHEV R&D.

Second photo in the original post references development of plug-in EV for small architecture and mild hybrid/PHEV for the large architecture

The0retical
The0retical UberDork
5/9/19 11:55 a.m.
NickD said:
The0retical said:

I'm more interested in the EV slide.

Mazda has been highly resistant to getting on the bandwagon. As a result I've heard next to nothing them doing any EV or PHEV R&D.

Second photo in the original post references development of plug-in EV for small architecture and mild hybrid/PHEV for the large architecture

Yea but I don't see any details around the internet yet beyond the slide. Everyone seems to be focusing on the straight six bit.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
5/9/19 12:00 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Straight six turbo-diesel? Naah, the market will never accept it laugh

That is interesting. When's the last time a new I6 was brought to market? I thought they'd been killed by packaging.

I thought cooling was the inline killer - too hard to get that much metal to warm up quickly enough.  At least that was the excuse I heard.

CyberEric
CyberEric HalfDork
5/9/19 12:02 p.m.

Very, very interesting. I love the idea of an inline-six, RWD skyactivX 6. The car is a little too big outside and a little too small inside right now, so I hope they change that. Mazda does have a history of messing this kind of thing up (see Amanti as NickD mentioned), but that was a long time ago when the company was run by totally different people in a different era. 

It's cool that staight-sixes are making a comeback, I really don't understand why, given the packaging issues, but I like it.

I'm glad they're going to do some EVs too!

rslifkin
rslifkin UltraDork
5/9/19 12:07 p.m.

I6s are smooth running compared to a V6.  So in situations where you can reasonably package one (in other words, not transverse applications) they have some advantages.  

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/9/19 12:15 p.m.

I6s also have more main bearings than a V6. Which is good for strength, but may be bad for friction. It's notable how many of the legendarily long-lived engines are I6s.

NickD
NickD PowerDork
5/9/19 12:17 p.m.
rslifkin said:

I6s are smooth running compared to a V6.  So in situations where you can reasonably package one (in other words, not transverse applications) they have some advantages.  

I seem to recall reading that while the SkyActiv-X 4-cylinder had impressive numbers, it was kind of coarse and thrashy. Maybe they were worried that a V6 with the HCCI would just be too rough, and are hoping that an I6 will smooth some of that out. Also, if they are pushing for a premium feel for a lower cost, an I6 like BMW, Mercedes and Jag might help with that image, as by and large V6s are kind of viewed as minivan engines. And third, and this is conjecture, maybe they are recvycling the rods, pistons, valvetrain and FEAD from the SkyActiv-X I4 to cut down on development and partsbin costs.

AWSX1686
AWSX1686 GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/9/19 12:25 p.m.

I for one am excited for this! Always been a fan of straight six engines, and the Kodo design and Mazda Vision concept look amazing. I can't wait to see what comes out of it. 

(Plus, think of the fuel efficiency using their Skyactive-X or diesel, should be decent!)

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
5/9/19 12:42 p.m.
Javelin said:
Keith Tanner said:

Straight six turbo-diesel? Naah, the market will never accept it laugh

That is interesting. When's the last time a new I6 was brought to market? I thought they'd been killed by packaging.

Didn't BMW and Mercedes both bring back new inline 6's after customer complaints?

In any case, I'm super excited for inline 6 Mazdas!

From what I can find with a quick search BMW has made I6s since 1933, with a brief pause during the early-mid 60s, and from '68 up until now.

Not sure about Mercedes. They've never made anything I'm interested in that I could even dream about affording.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
5/9/19 12:45 p.m.

While the turbo four in my 2019 CX-9 is no slouch, I think the I-6 would be a better fit in this vehicle.  And if they could get near the 25 mpg I'm getting, I'd be all over it.

NickD
NickD PowerDork
5/9/19 12:47 p.m.
z31maniac said:
Javelin said:
Keith Tanner said:

Straight six turbo-diesel? Naah, the market will never accept it laugh

That is interesting. When's the last time a new I6 was brought to market? I thought they'd been killed by packaging.

Didn't BMW and Mercedes both bring back new inline 6's after customer complaints?

In any case, I'm super excited for inline 6 Mazdas!

From what I can find with a quick search BMW has made I6s since 1933, with a brief pause during the early-mid 60s, and from '68 up until now.

Not sure about Mercedes. They've never made anything I'm interested in that I could even dream about affording.

From what I could see, the Mercedes made inline-6s from 1924 to 1997, then reintroduced them in 2017.

And Mazda has never made a I6 (or anything with more cylinders than 6)

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
5/9/19 12:54 p.m.

The engine's kindof exciting, I just hope they fix the horrible visibility issues with the new 3.  I'm really glad I picked up the last of the 2018's, the 2019 looks like it'd feel like sitting in a cave (and the reviews I've read of it seem to suggest that I'm right).  Otherwise the design looks nice.  More horizontal beltlines, please.)

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
5/9/19 12:55 p.m.

I think the design being scaled from the 4 cyls makes the most sense from a cost/benefit point of view. Kia and Genesis are sort of 'making space' that Mazda could plausibly compete in right now, and I hope they do! 

As far as the hybrid/EV thing, that's one of the things that has worried me about Mazda's future. They have to play in that space to stay relevant, but now that they're on their own they don't have the same resources to pull from as in days past and those are expensive things to develop. But, doesn't anyone remember the electric Mazda2 with the rotary range extender from way back in 2013? That to me was one of the most exciting things happening in the HEV/EV world back then because almost all the rotary's problems can be fixed by optimizing it for a narrow speed/load range as you would in a generator application. Since it would be hooked to a large battery and a generator (ie a motor), it could even be preheated and spun up to its operating rpm by electric thus bypassing the emissions of the startup/warmup phase.  It looks like Mazda plans to commit on this approach with a scalable 'drivetrain module' that contains both the rotary and the motor/generators, probably inverters etc. Could be a huge cost advantage just like they're getting from scaling the different sizes of Skyactiv ICEs. 

Hybrids are a stop gap to full EV, but i think with an 'actually good' range extender that Mazda could come out of the gate with some pretty compelling PHEVs. We all love the Volt more than we love the Cruze it's built from, and there's been plenty of fawning over the current Mazda3 here. Imagine a volt-like car based on the 3 with Mazda dynamics that uses a much smaller/lighter ICE. It could be pretty great.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
5/9/19 1:28 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Straight six turbo-diesel? Naah, the market will never accept it laugh

That is interesting. When's the last time a new I6 was brought to market? I thought they'd been killed by packaging.

I believe 2004-2006. The Daewooki Verona had a 2.5L DOHC I-6 that made a whopping 155hp /177tq

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