Most automakers are busy talking EV plans, but one is bucking the trend. The Zoom Zoom brand is actually busy working on a new architecture and engine lineup that will elevate its future products. The first Mazda product to receive this new architecture and engine combination is expected to be the next CX-5.
Mazda hasn’t exactly been shy about their plans. In the company’s annual report last year it disclosed it is working on a new “large architecture” for future products. This large architecture is expected to ultimately be shared with Toyota’s Lexus division for its own future products as well. In case you’re wondering at this point, yes, this architecture is expected to be rear-wheel-drive. This will mark a notable move up-market for the Mazda brand, which already rests slightly above mainstream.
In fact, Mazda subtlety confirmed the platform will be RWD in their annual report. The company notes that vehicles on the large architecture will have longitudinally-mounted engines. It’s unlikely a front-wheel drive architecture would accommodate a longitudinally-mounted engine, particularly when two of them are slated to be straight-sixes.
That brings us to the other big news. Mazda has confirmed it is also working on a new family of straight-six engines, including at least one gas and diesel variant. CarSales recently reported that a Mazda executive in Australia confirmed the new straight-sixes will make their way into the CX-5.
“Mazda continues to invest in high-efficiency combustion engines, with SkyActiv-X, and the new generation straight-six engine family that will power our new-generation large-platform products, which is CX-5 and above,” Mazda Australia Managing Director Vinesh Bhindi stated in a presentation to journalists.
Putting together all of the various confirmations from Mazda, we can conclude a lot about this new engine. As the quote mentions, we can expect it to be equipped with SkyActiv-X. SkyActiv-X is Mazda’s marketing language for their compression ignition technology, which is already found in some of the company’s four-cylinder engines.
The new six is also expected to receive some form of electrification. Mazda’s annual report notes that the engine will have 48-volt mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants, but it’s too early to say if one or both will end up in the new CX-5. Merging SkyActiv-X and some form of electrification could yield some interesting fuel efficiency results.
On the technology front, Mazda’s built on the new large architecture should see new connectivity options. Mazda is actively working on future iterations of Mazda Connect and their semi-autonomous driving feature set, Mazda Co-Pilot.
The all-new Mazda CX-5 is expected to debut in early 2022. Given how much we like the current one, consider us intrigued.