Diesel Engine, All-wheel Drive Coming to Mazda 6; No Word on Suspension Lift, Cladding
It seems the idea of a sport-utility sedan just doesn’t resonate, despite automakers’ best efforts. Oh well, at least there’s still the prospect of greater traction and somewhat improved fuel economy coming to Mazda’s slinky 6 sedan.
During this week’s New York reveal of the much-delayed CX-5 diesel, the automaker mentioned that the 2.2-liter oil burner would also find a home in the company’s midsize sedan. More interestingly, Mazda confirmed that all-wheel drive will become available.
Want to take a guess on which feature Mazda fans actually want?
If you’ll recall, a Mazda 6 diesel was supposed to appear five years ago, but emissions-wary regulators intervened. The past couple of years brought hints that the automaker was attempting to get a reworked 2.2-liter certified in the United States.
“Mazda has worked tirelessly with federal and state agencies to ensure that this diesel engine has passed each and every regulation,” Jeff Guyton, president of Mazda North American Operations, said during the CX-5 diesel’s unveiling.
“What makes Mazda’s diesel technology so remarkable, is that we designed the combustion process itself to produce very few harmful emissions in the first place, which means we need to rely less on after-treatment catalysts.”
Guyton then told the assembled media that Mazda is “working to bring diesel with all-wheel drive also to our beautiful Mazda 6,” asking everyone to “stay tuned” for that announcement. It’s worth noting that the company’s website has a page for the yet-unavailable Mazda 6 Signature Skyactiv-D. As with the CX-5, it seems diesel availability will be relegated to the top-tier trim.
In the CX-5, the 2.2-liter generates 168 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque, but delivers a very mediocre 28 mpg combined. It’s assumed that in a sedan, even one with AWD, the engine would crest the 30 mpg combined mark. It has to, as a basic 2.5-liter Mazda 6 delivers 29 mpg combined.
An unanswered question is whether a long-rumored AWD option will come to non-diesel sedans. Of course, it would be foolish not to pair the model’s new turbocharged 2.5-liter with four-wheel motivation, as Mazda’s midsizer is already viewed as one of the most engaging mainstream sedans on the market. Anything that might attract more buyers is key.
In the first three months of 2019, Mazda 6 sales slipped 8.1 percent, coming on the heels of a 7.4 percent volume drop in 2018.
[Images: © 2018 Chris Tonn/TTAC]
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