Mazda 6 mules hide extraordinary technology that will allow Mazda to slash development costs

Mazda is poised to completely reinvent itself by launching a new multi-purpose platform, a new chassis and suspension set-up, an advanced six-speed automatic ’box and a pair of uniquely engineered ‘Sky’ petrol and diesel engines. These should be among the most fuel-efficient engines on sale.

The aim is to allow the company to prosper as a full-range, independent global car maker, while selling just 1.2 million cars per year.

See the pics of the Mazda 6 test mule

Mazda 6 mules using all the new technology are currently on test in Europe, with sales of the all-new model expected in early 2012. Company sources say the new 2.2-litre Sky diesel-equipped 6 will be good for 105g/km of CO2, while the 2.0-litre petrol engine should manage 130g/km.

Seita Kanai, Mazda’s R&D supremo, says the new corporate platform and engines are legislatively future-proofed for a decade. These new four-cylinder engines will form the basis of Mazda’s global powertrain strategy and both feature highly unusual engineering solutions.

Read the full story on the new Mazda MX-5, plus see an exclusive rendering

The diesel unit has a low 14:1 compression ratio plus trick injection and exhaust valve timing. It already meets 2013 Euro 6 emissions regulations without expensive NOx traps and is cheaper to build than today’s Euro 5 diesels.

The petrol engine is normally aspirated but has a high 14:1 compression ratio and much-improved low-end torque. One of the key design features is a large 4-2-1 manifold, which required extra packaging space behind the front wheels.

Read more on a turbocharged successor to the Mazda RX-7

The new platform is made from simple box sections that fit together to create a kind of steel spaceframe. This can be chopped to allow it to underpin everything from the next Mazda 3 to the next CX-7.

It’s lighter then the current Mazda 6 structure and 30 per cent torsionally stiffer. The platform could be used for 800,000 vehicles a year. Mazda is even looking hard at adapting it for the new 2.

Hilton Holloway

See all the latest Mazda reviews, news and video

Our Verdict

New Mazda 6 largely carries over the styling of the striking Takeri concept that previewed it

The Mazda 6 is a Ford Mondeo rival with rakish styling and lightweight, low-emissions tech

Join the debate


30 August 2010

The 2.0 NA petrol engine sounds interesting. 14:1 is very high compression ratio, requiring premium petrol i expect. 130g/km very low for such a capacity.

will it compete with the new 220bhp NA Renault 2.0 clio engine i wonder for power. all to fight for now the honda engine is being phased out.

30 August 2010

I've just bought a Mazda 5, which I love. I got it cheap as it was a run out model. The only two things I'd change are the power/economy on the engine/gearbox (2.3 petrol automatic (auto for my wife) and the rigidity of the structure could use a little strengthening. When I replace it in x number of years I'd love a Mazda that's competitive (it is in North America, but not in Europe for petrol) on fuel economy and continues to drive well, look decent (mine doesn't have a stupid smiling face) and offer god value.

30 August 2010

just what you wanted then.

30 August 2010

I hope Mazda will radicalized its design language too. The current one doesn't work for me.

30 August 2010

Mazda lacks product-led news, so they publish bs like this. Obviously, Mazda is small and also losing a lot of money as they produce their models in Japan. It means they are trying to get away with very low research and development budget - and market it as "radical and smart" way.

But how will they position themselves when the drivetrains will be less advanced than -for example- those of Kia/Hyundai? And how will they ask for higher price?

Without focusing on core competences like design, chassis/suspension engineering and niche models while having a strong ally (Ford) to provide drivetrains and other bits for mainstream models, Mazda will fail sooner or later. Their only chance are the emerging markets...

30 August 2010

are hyundais newest engines more advanced than mazdas newest engines?

30 August 2010

I've always found the MPG figures for my MX5 shockingly poor considering its size and performance. Time they did something about it.

30 August 2010

[quote optimal_909] Mazda lacks product-led news, so they publish bs like this.[/quote] Mazda has always averred it wishes to remain small and a niche driven company. Long may it last.

30 August 2010

[quote tannedbaldhead]I've always found the MPG figures for my MX5 ... poor [/quote]If the previous model it could be something to do with the need to rev the engine a lot; or perhaps it isn't giving tip-top output.

30 August 2010

[quote Los Angeles] Mazda has always averred it wishes to remain small and a niche driven company. Long may it last.[/quote]

Being niche is one thing, and making a viable business is another.


Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    27 March 2015
    Lavishly-equipped, rugged-looking Peugeot 508 estate is a pleasant drive, but there are many more recommendable alternatives
  • 308 GT 1.6-litre petrol is priced from £24,095
    First Drive
    27 March 2015
    Peugeot's given the 308 the engine from the 208 GTi 30th and some chassis upgrades; we find out if the changes bring a bit of old-school Peugeot hot-hatch magic to this likeable family hatch.
  • Car review
    26 March 2015
    Does Suzuki's new city runabout have what it takes to succeed?
  • First Drive
    26 March 2015
    Collins Performance has given the Fiesta ST 270bhp and 265lb ft, but has our favourite fast Ford been ruined in the process?
  • First Drive
    26 March 2015
    The Seat Leon X-Perience is the closest thing to an SUV that you can buy with a Seat badge for now, blending estate practicality with off-road ability