While Mazda continues to be a bit of a leader in the sense that they’re stretching their Skyactiv four-cylinder engine tech to the absolute max – think everything from the compact Mazda3 to the three-row CX-9 crossover – it appears that even they are feeling a little bit of the “no replacement for displacement” mantra.
Case in point: an all-new straight-six engine, dubbed Skyactiv-X in petrol form, or Skyactiv-D in diesel form. This was first discovered by Jalopnik in the future outlook portion of Mazda’s 2019 fiscal year financial report.
The fact that both engines are longitudinally-mounted and being developed for what Mazda calls a “large architecture platform” suggests that they will find homes in the CX-9 and Mazda6 sedans, but to us petrolheads, it should mean one thing: the possible existence of the Vision Concept, revealed at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show.
It’s a low, lithe coupe with a long hood, perfect for a longitudinally-mounted engine. Better yet: while the new engines are being developed to work in concert with an AWD platform, you’d have to think that something that appears as performance-oriented as the Vision Coupe will be RWD, not to mention that the only car in Mazda’s current line-up that uses a longitudinally-mounted motor is the MX-5, a RWD sports car.
Then you look at the recent arrival of Toyota’s latest Supra, and you can’t help but reminisce about those great early-‘90s battles between the Supra and RX-7, whether you’re thinking about the first entrant in The Need for Speed video game series or your favorite Initial D episode.
If you’re on the other end of the spectrum and frugal EV motoring is more your thing, Mazda has something in the works for you, too as the report also states they’re working on mild hybrid tech for their Skyactiv-G motor, as well as an “independently-developed battery EV.”
Seems there are exciting times ahead for the little brand from Hiroshima.