Mazda Patents Straight-Six Engine, Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission
6 February 2020 - autoevolution
The MZI V6, an engine that Mazda co-developed with Ford, is no longer utilized in the Japanese automaker’s vehicles.
As a matter of fact, there's no Mazda with a six-cylinder engine available for the 2020 model year.
This gets us to the Fiscal Year March 2019 Financial Results presentation. Mazda confirmed that it's developing a rear-wheel-drive platform – the Large Architecture – for mid-sized vehicles such as the Mazda6 sedan and station wagon. Along with it, two straight-six engine options are in the works.
On the one hand, there's the SkyActiv-D with six cylinders and second-generation diesel technology. There's no mistaking this engine is turbocharged, so let's head over to the SkyActiv-X. The four-cylinder version in the Mazda3 hatchback and sedan features a Roots-style supercharger and compression ignition, meaning that this pairing will be applied to the six-cylinder plant.
No displacement has been offered at that presentation, but chances are we're dealing with 3.0 liters if the I4 and I6 share a few bits and bobs. Mazda did confirm the four-cylinder is a modular design, so here's hope that adding two cylinders displacing 0.5 liters each will translate to 3.0 liters.
Almost a year since the Large Architecture and powerplants were confirmed, patents have been filed with the Japanese equivalent of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The application number for the engine is JP 2020-16189 if you want to look it up. Published on January 30th, the patent for the SkyActiv-X straight-six engine is joined by an eight-speed tranny.
JP 2020-16272 is the application number for the SkyActiv-Drive AT8, a transmission that could be specifically developed for rear-wheel-drive vehicles with longitudinal engines. The patent's description doesn't mention a thing about the previous assumption, meaning that there are chances for Mazda to replace the six-speed tranny in FWD vehicles with an eight-speed box.
All in all, the most obvious takeaway from this story is simple. The future Mazda6 will be rear-wheel drive, feature i-Activ all-wheel drive as an optional extra, two straight-six engines, and possibly an eight-speed transmission. Oh, and by the way, the Large Architecture also supports 48-volt mild hybridization as well as plug-in hybrid powertrains.