Is the Next Mazdaspeed already under our Noses?
We talk a lot about the next Mazdaspeed, will it be AWD, will it be FWD, will it be a 3? the 6? a 2? Though little is known or confirmed, I want to point out a few things we DO know as a fact.
Mazda has been working on their SkyActiv D engines for a few years. They have already shown their SkyActiv D engines, they even race them. What many people fail to realize it that the SkyActiv D runs in the Mazda 6 with a two-stage turbocharger.
The two-stage turbocharger gives you the best of both worlds, it will run a smaller turbo in the low RPM range in order to give you more power and cut emissions, then at higher RPM ranges it flips a lever and runs the bigger turbo to produce more power with no noticeable lag between the two. According to Mazda’s own website “SKYACTIV-D utilizes a two-stage turbocharger in which one small and one large turbo are selectively operated according to driving conditions.” (Source)
What else do we know? Well, Mazda has been actively racing the SkyActiv D engines in several endurance races. This is a mildly modified version of the SkyActiv D that is known to put down about 400hp.
So why would Mazda try and rework a new regular gas powered engine with a turbocharger for the next speed? Why not take the 400 hp Two-Stage turbo diesel that they already have, and pull a little power from it, and release it as a street legal vehicle?
More questions: Why has the SkyActiv D release been delayed? Is it emissions related? According to Mazda their engines pass with flying colors, no treatment necessary. So it can’t be that. In fact when the SkyActiv D was delayed Mazda spokesman Jeremy Barnes was quoted as saying: Skyactiv technology can meet it [emissions] — and it can — but the challenge is engineering a car that delivers the kind of performance that a Mazda needs to have and we’re unable to do that given where we are right now.”
Wait a minute. So what you are saying is that the 2.2L passes emissions, (source) but doesn’t have enough performance? If Mazda has already passed the emissions testing for the engine then why delay it. We know they have released it in the CX-5 in other markets, they even confirmed they will be releasing it in the Mazda 3 in Australia come September. (Source) Along with this the CX-5 has been selling in Japan at a rate of “four 2.2L SKYACTIV-D purchases for every one 2.0L SKYACTIV-G.” (Source) So why would they work on a turbo gasoline variant when the Diesels (which already have a turbo) are already clearly being sold at such a significantly greater rate? My answer? I don’t think they will.
So what’s the delay. My guess is that they plan on announcing the SkyActiv D release date at the same time as the performance oriented version, the Mazdaspeed SkyActiv D which may be a variant of the engine seen above. Even the SkyActiv D that is currently running in the CX-5 pushes 310 lb ft of torque and 173 hp. Still impressive, especially that torque! Imagine bumping the hp by even 100 and the torque would be incredible!
Last but not least, check out these two videos from Mazda that were released almost 2 years ago. Starting at minute 2 they say some interesting things.
“An exceptionally high redline or 5200rpm. When we were done we had created a beast … delivers the driving performance of a 4.0L V8.”
A 4.0L V8!! Just do a quick google search for standard HP from common 4.0L V8s and you should be more than impressed with the results. Is this Mazda teasing us and we just failed to notice?
In the long run, whether we get a Mazdaspeed version of the SkyActiv D or not, I can’t wait until it hits our shores for good. Let’s hope it’s soon!
Until next Time,