More Powerful, Turbocharged Mazda6 Likely, No Speed3
Our own Timothy Cain was smitten after spending a week with the midsize Mazda6. It’s a hard vehicle to hate. With its sexy, sculpted sheetmetal, it’s one of those cars you turn back to look at after you park it.
But the Mazda6, even with its willing chassis and sporting demeanor, is still missing many ingredients, one of them power. Call it the Miata Effect, or simply realize that Mazda doesn’t have its own V6 to stuff under the Mazda6’s long hood. Mazda’s midsize sedan isn’t nearly close to the most powerful option in the segment.
That may change though thanks to the Mazda CX-9 and its 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
According to CarAdvice, the new 2.5-liter turbo powerplant, which pumps out 227 horsepower and 310 lbs-ft of torque, fits in models below the CX-9 thanks to clever packaging of the turbocharger and exhaust manifold.
“It fits in a lot of our cars, and where we’re actually going to put it is another question,” David Coleman, Mazda North America’s vehicle development engineer told the Australian outlet.
“It fits in the same package as the diesel fits in, and the same package that the naturally aspirated 2.5-litre fits in. Basically, that big space we used for the bundle of snakes exhaust manifold, the turbo is in that space too. They’re all packaged to occupy the same space,” he said.
And while the same turbocharged engine fits in the Mazda3, don’t get your hopes up.
“The performance vehicles of Mazda3 and other models, we don’t have plans at the moment,” said Mazda global president and CEO Masamichi Kogai in October. “So we have to really have one best model,” he said in reference to a new rotary sports car.
How long before Mazda folds or is bought?
The other thing to consider is that you can get out the door for under $20k on a Sport w/manual. There isn't anything else in the segment that can touch that price and options. I bought a manual Touring and I couldn't be happier. You can rev the hell out of it and it's fun to drive. The dealer I bought from sold Kia and Ford as well. The Kia Cadenza parked opposite the row of 6's were nearly $10k more than the sticker on the 6. And before agreeing to look for a touring the salesman tried hard to come low enough to sell me the sport so they could get rid of another manual. The Accord I looked at was nice, but to get the manual you couldn't get leather (or at least fake leather) or the options that came on the touring plus the dealer wouldn't budge and it cost more if you could even find one. So is the 6 perfect? No, but for the price and options, if you like driving there isn't anything comparable for the price.
It doesn't look like anyone else mentioned this, so here goes: The 6 was designed to use the 300+ lb-ft diesel engine. This turbo engine is in the exact same wheelhouse. It fits. And the diesel isn't coming any time soon. This is the upgrade engine the 6 needs. It's not the same as what Mazda planned, but it's dumb to not drop it in there as soon as the marketing push behind the CX-9 wears down. Having an engine unique to one model is not cost effective. Spreading costs over multiple models is exactly what Mazda needs, and it's not like the 6 needs much development to make it work. If the diesel suddenly passed US emissions, they'd use it, so what's different about this engine? Mazda wants to move upmarket. The Signature trim on the CX-9 proves that. Well, they could do the same with the 6. Add some sound insulation, the same interior materials, & this engine, and I think a 6 Signature would get attention.
No plans for any performance vehicles? Guess I'll hold onto this speed 3 a little while longer than I thought, at least until the next gen STi comes out.