The Mazda6 diesel, long awaited as the first major competitor to the Volkswagen Passat TDI, is being delayed due to difficulties meeting emissions standards without the need for after-treatment. TTAC has learned that Mazda is changing their strategy to incorporate an after-treatment, to help meet both emissions and performance benchmarks.
According to our source, the after-treatment free Skyactiv-D diesel engine was unable to meet stringent US diesel emissions standards. When engineers finally produced a compliant package, the power output was reportedly considered too low to meet consumer expectations, leading to a major re-think of the diesel program.
The solution will apparently be an unspecified after-treatment, with the first diesel car slated to debut in one year’s time. While the Mazda6 is the first candidate for a diesel engine, our source said that its success could mean diesel variants of other vehicles like the Mazda3 and CX-5.
Mazda’s diesel engines previously came under scrutiny for reliability issues in Australia, which led to speculation that the diesel’s delay in our market was due to this issue. Perhaps these issues (of which there is no true solution) will be ironed out as well when the diesel arrives in North America.