Mazda developing staight-six engines

One of the information nuggets in Mazda's yearly financial report released today was that they are developing straight-six skyactiv-X and diesel engines. These will most likely find their way to the yet to be released SUV to be built in Alabama and the next CX-9. They also mentioned longitudinal engine layout which means the next Mazda6 could possible be rear wheel drive with AWD as an option. Link below. Page 25

Large Architecture
-Straight-six Skyactiv-X engine-Straight
-six Skyactiv-D(2nd-generation diesel engine)
-Longitudinal engine layout (incl. i-ActivAWD)
-48V Mild Hybrid/Plug-in Hybrid

https://www.mazda.com/globalassets/en/assets/investors/library/presentation/files/pre190509_e.pdf
 
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Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2016
This is interesting. The straight-6 has the drawbacks of it's added length and height vs. a V-6. (Remember the old Dodge slant-6 to get the height down?) A straight-6 usually weighs more than a V-6, and it usually has more main bearings with more internal friction than the V-6. The straight-6 is naturally one of the smoothest running--a V-12 is the other naturally smooth engine configuration.

It's past time for Mazda to get into the hybrid game. We really like our Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid. It gets 30 miles on the battery (@ 3/mile) before the gas engine starts, then gets about 60 mpg on a long highway trip. Of course the propulsion battery is relatively big, heavy, and expensive (but dropping in cost). Pay your money and take your choice.
 
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2018 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring / Deep Crystal Blue / Sand leather
If this somehow makes it into a Mazda 6 w/AWD in time for my CX-9's lease to end, I will get one. My lease ends in early June 2021, but I have no idea how far along Mazda is with development on this. I'll actually be a bit sad if the timing doesn't work out.

I really like the CX-9 a lot (aside from the awful Bridgestone Ecopias) and I'd like to stick with Mazda, but I miss having a fun, fast, AWD sedan a lot.
 

JPL

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2018 Mazda6, CX-9
This news surprised me a lot. Mazda seemed like they were committed to being a 4-cylinder engine company only. They weren't the only ones. Subaru, Volvo, and others are 4-banger only.

This would be a good move as many people still write off vehicles that don't have 6-cylinders. With Mazda, that mostly means the CX-9. I have read countless comments online from people saying they would've bought or considered the CX-9 with a V6 (or I6 in this case). Without driving the CX-9, they assume the turbo 4 is inadequate without realizing it is the most responsive vehicle in class at normal speeds. Or it's about long term reliability which is understandable. A lot of people just don't want a turbo thinking it's not going to last. Mazda has likely seen this attitude play out as well as experiencing lower sales numbers and figure they need to offer the bigger engines.
 
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Ottawa, Ontario
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17 Mazda 6 GT
This would be a good move as many people still write off vehicles that don't have 6-cylinders. With Mazda, that mostly means the CX-9. I have read countless comments online from people saying they would've bought or considered the CX-9 with a V6 (or I6 in this case). Without driving the CX-9, they assume the turbo 4 is inadequate without realizing it is the most responsive vehicle in class at normal speeds. Or it's about long term reliability which is understandable. A lot of people just don't want a turbo thinking it's not going to last. Mazda has likely seen this attitude play out as well as experiencing lower sales numbers and figure they need to offer the bigger engines.
Interesting comment, and bang on the money.
I fit in nicely with those people that still want a V6 in a large vehicle.
If I was looking for a 3 row SUV, I'd want that V6.

Interesting thing happened to me a few days ago.
I've always been curious about how fast the CX-9 is, and I found out the other day, without actually driving one.
I was pulling through an intersection just as the light turned green, and it was one of those situations where two lanes merge into one after the intersection.
I was in the proper lane, and a CX-9 was half a length behind me in the lane that was ending.
He decided he wanted to get ahead of me at the merge point, and I could sense what he was going to do.
Screw that.
He hoofed it, and so did I.
We pretty much matched acceleration, and neither one of us gained or fell back more than half a car length.
He finally realized he wasn't going to pull even with me, let alone pass me, so he pulled up at the last second and had to get in behind me.
What's interesting about this is, I was driving my 2002 Nissan Pathfinder.
It's a 3.5 V6, with a ton of miles on it, and I had it loaded full of tools and supplies (I renovate houses). It's heavy.
It was rated at 240HP when new, and although it runs well, I'm sure a few horses have escaped the barn after 17 years....lol.
If this is all the CX-9 has to give, I'd want that six under the hood.
 
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2018 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring / Deep Crystal Blue / Sand leather
Similar weight and power for the most part (based only on some Googling), with some variations depending on configuration. Makes sense to me that the vehicles stayed neck and neck. The guy mightve been running regular fuel too, which wouldve meant he had even less horsepower.

We also dont know if the CX-9 had any cargo or how hard the other guy was really trying. Ive asked my friends to floor it while theyre driving before and its always resulted in varying degrees of actual acceleration vs. what the car should be able to do. The other guy mightve thought he was giving it his all when in reality he wasnt.

I have no illusions that the CX-9 is fast, but performance tests have it competing fine with other 3-row SUVs out there and it feels fast enough in my daily driving. I came from a BMW 335 which was faster in every way too.

Id hardly make a broad judgment of the vehicles performance based on one limited pull on the street with so many unknown factors.

That said, more power would be nice with most any vehicle, including the CX-9, but it doesnt have me begging for it every day either. Id consider a more powerful version, if one is available, to replace my 2018 when my lease is up, but my current mood has me looking at getting a performance-oriented sedan again.

When it comes to family haulers, Im less concerned with the number of cylinders under the hood and more concerned with how the cylinders that are there go about doing their work. The CX-9 has been plenty good in my experience, including taking off from stoplights or passing on the highway. Ive never felt the power to be inadequate vs other vehicles I know to have similar performance capabilities on the road. For whatever difference it may make, I run premium in my CX-9.

Performance sedans or sports cars though? Id like more power than what the 2.5T offers today and some better noise from the engine/exhaust would be nice too. I consider sound to be an important part of the overall driving experience.
 
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Ottawa, Ontario
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17 Mazda 6 GT
I understand the variables involved in this little drag race, and your points are well taken.

I only saw one person in the vehicle, the driver. No extra human weight.

I obviously have no idea what octane he was running either, or if he had concrete blocks in the back weighing it down (I doubt it though).

As for whether he was trying or not, I have no doubt he was fully engaged. He wanted to get ahead of me. That much was obvious.

I wasn't implying that the CX-9 was, or is, slow, or that the power is inadequate. Far from it. My Pathfinder isn't slow. It pulls very well for a vehicle of that size and weight.
I was just saying that now I know (within reason) how fast a CX-9 probably is. It's not bad at all.

Some pluses and minuses of the 2002 V6: Gas mileage sucks. CX-9 beats it hands down.
The sound from the engine under acceleration is sweet. I have an open air box with a K&N filter, and the intake noise is addictive. Can't get that from a 4.
The Pathfinder only has four gears. It needs at least another gear, if not two. It would be nice to have the six speed tranny in there.

There's no right or wrong here. It's a personal preference really. I still like a NA V6 engine in a bigger vehicle.
Cheers.
 
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2018 CX9 Sig
And this is the reason why I added the Pedal Commander, not more hp but quicker acceleration response.

Peace and blessings,

Azeke
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
A straight six would be right at home in the CX-9. As it stands now, it's a full second behind the Acura MDX, Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer and Ford Flex in the 0-60. If a straight six could shave a full second off of the CX-9's 0-60, it could steal a lot of sales from other brands. Not to mention being able to compete with the Explorer on a RWD-based platform.. oh, the possibilities..
 

JPL

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2018 Mazda6, CX-9
Interesting comment, and bang on the money.
I fit in nicely with those people that still want a V6 in a large vehicle.
If I was looking for a 3 row SUV, I'd want that V6.

Interesting thing happened to me a few days ago.
I've always been curious about how fast the CX-9 is, and I found out the other day, without actually driving one.
I was pulling through an intersection just as the light turned green, and it was one of those situations where two lanes merge into one after the intersection.
I was in the proper lane, and a CX-9 was half a length behind me in the lane that was ending.
He decided he wanted to get ahead of me at the merge point, and I could sense what he was going to do.
Screw that.
He hoofed it, and so did I.
We pretty much matched acceleration, and neither one of us gained or fell back more than half a car length.
He finally realized he wasn't going to pull even with me, let alone pass me, so he pulled up at the last second and had to get in behind me.
What's interesting about this is, I was driving my 2002 Nissan Pathfinder.
It's a 3.5 V6, with a ton of miles on it, and I had it loaded full of tools and supplies (I renovate houses). It's heavy.
It was rated at 240HP when new, and although it runs well, I'm sure a few horses have escaped the barn after 17 years....lol.
If this is all the CX-9 has to give, I'd want that six under the hood.
No matter how you slice it, the CX-9 is significantly faster than a 2002 Pathfinder with the 3.5 V-6 (which was a major upgrade in 2001 from the previous powerplant). A Car and Driver test has the 0-60 in 9.2 seconds. CX-9 does it in 7.3 seconds.

Hard to determine an on road situation to compare acceleration abilities. Unless it's a controlled drag race on a closed track, it's not going to be a good indicator.
 
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13' CX-5 and 16' Mazda6 both Touring w/Tech/Bose
Interesting comment, and bang on the money.
I fit in nicely with those people that still want a V6 in a large vehicle.
If I was looking for a 3 row SUV, I'd want that V6.

Interesting thing happened to me a few days ago.
I've always been curious about how fast the CX-9 is, and I found out the other day, without actually driving one.
I was pulling through an intersection just as the light turned green, and it was one of those situations where two lanes merge into one after the intersection.
I was in the proper lane, and a CX-9 was half a length behind me in the lane that was ending.
He decided he wanted to get ahead of me at the merge point, and I could sense what he was going to do.
Screw that.
He hoofed it, and so did I.
We pretty much matched acceleration, and neither one of us gained or fell back more than half a car length.
He finally realized he wasn't going to pull even with me, let alone pass me, so he pulled up at the last second and had to get in behind me.
What's interesting about this is, I was driving my 2002 Nissan Pathfinder.
It's a 3.5 V6, with a ton of miles on it, and I had it loaded full of tools and supplies (I renovate houses). It's heavy.
It was rated at 240HP when new, and although it runs well, I'm sure a few horses have escaped the barn after 17 years....lol.
If this is all the CX-9 has to give, I'd want that six under the hood.
https://www.newcartestdrive.com/reviews/2002-nissan-pathfinder/

"The Nissan Pathfinder offers almost sedan-like acceleration. The 42 models with the manual transmission are capable of 0-60 mph acceleration times of only 7.6 seconds. Our SE 44 was equipped with the automatic transmission. Nonetheless, with 240 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, it produced 0-60 times in the mid-8 second range, vastly more spirited than most foot-dragging SUVs. Throttle tip-in was a bit sensitive, however, so we had to train our feet not to lurch away from intersections."


That CX-9 would've won in a drag race if they wanted to.
 
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Ottawa, Ontario
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17 Mazda 6 GT
I guess it depends on where and what you read. I read one review where it stated the 0-60 time for the Pathfinder was 7.4 seconds. Oh well.
Maybe I'll go out tomorrow with my stop watch and see for myself. I'm curious now.
As for the drag race itself, it wasn't a standing start from a red light. It was a rolling start, as the light turned green just before we got there.
Not sure what, if any, difference that would make, but the Pathfinder responded instantly to my right foot (no turbo lag....lol).
 
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2010 CX-9 GT
A straight six would be right at home in the CX-9. As it stands now, it's a full second behind the Acura MDX, Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer and Ford Flex in the 0-60. If a straight six could shave a full second off of the CX-9's 0-60, it could steal a lot of sales from other brands. Not to mention being able to compete with the Explorer on a RWD-based platform.. oh, the possibilities..
The CX-9 is a front wheel drive architecture with AWD grafted on. The engine is mounted transversely. This inline 6 is described as "longitudinal engine layout" which means it will not work in this generation CX-9.

Perhaps the next gen will use a longitudinal architecture. However, that's probably 5+ years away. The previous CX-9 was on a Ford derived platform for a decade. I don't see Mazda throwing a billion+ dollars at the CX-9 anytime soon when it sells in the volumes that it does.
 
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2010 CX-9 GT
https://www.newcartestdrive.com/reviews/2002-nissan-pathfinder/

"The Nissan Pathfinder offers almost sedan-like acceleration. The 42 models with the manual transmission are capable of 0-60 mph acceleration times of only 7.6 seconds. Our SE 44 was equipped with the automatic transmission. Nonetheless, with 240 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, it produced 0-60 times in the mid-8 second range, vastly more spirited than most foot-dragging SUVs. Throttle tip-in was a bit sensitive, however, so we had to train our feet not to lurch away from intersections."


That CX-9 would've won in a drag race if they wanted to.
The "rolling start" 0-60 numbers for a CX-9 are in the mid 7's. That's actually not too much slower than the 0-60 times, which is pretty good, especially for a turbocharged engine.

However, if the CX-9 was not in first gear, it is entirely plausible that it would lose to a pathfinder over a short distance (crossing an intersection), since there would be time lost until the transmission downshifted.
 

JPL

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2018 Mazda6, CX-9
I believe Mazda is in the works of switching to RWD platforms, at least with the Mazda 6 and CX-9. This to me is the obvious conclusion with the development of an inline 6 from a small automaker. This makes perfect sense for Mazda who prioritizes driving dynamics. Why continue with FWD architecture? Especially when most people in the northern hemisphere are opting for AWD. FWD just isn't the necessary thing it used to be.

Ford even made this move with the best seller Explorer. Dynamics will be better and the proportions are fantastic with the short front overhang. Imagine how fantastic the next 6/CX-9 would be on a RWD platform powered by a straight 6! Or what might be a pipe dream: A turbo version of that inline 6 in either vehicle. Holy crap!
 
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Im not sure converting their current architecture to RWD makes sense. Too costly. Also, they have made no mention of this.
 
I wonder if making an in-line 6 is cheaper to develop than a V6 since they already have advanced plans and engines in place as in-line 4s. Im not an engineer, but maybe its easier that way than engineering a SKYACTIV V6?

With these oversized hood lengths, we know it would fit.

Honestly, I wish Mazda would concentrate more on interior space. Thats a major detractor to many of their offerings. They are just too small.
 

JPL

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2018 Mazda6, CX-9
Im not sure converting their current architecture to RWD makes sense. Too costly. Also, they have made no mention of this.
We'd be talking about the next generation arcitecture, so a RWD switch would be reasonable. Just speculation at this point but it just seems to make sense with them going to a straight 6. While they have been used with FWD arcitecture, it's just not typical.
 
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