Mazda Axela Sport and the 6 Wagon Turbodiesel (Next Mazdaspeed?)

2014 Axela Sport Concept (New Mazdaspeed?)

Mazda recently released some concepts with Mazdaspeed exteriors. Could these be the next Mazdaspeed 3’s? The new Axela Sport with Mazdaspeed Exterior certainly has a sporty look, but there is no official word on if this is just a design concept, or if it’s confirmation of the next Mazdaspeed 3.


The hatchback will feature a strengthened chassis, some Brembo stopping power and a set of black alloy wheels. The end result is a stunning example of another great design from Mazda, a company that truly understands blending high performance and sporty style.

Whether this is the new Mazdaspeed or not, we look forward to more ideas and designs from Mazda, such as the Mazda 6 Wagon concept below!

Mazda 6 Wagon Mazda Design Concept

Also joining the 6 sedan lineup is a stylish wagon variation. Featuring subtle aero changes, new wheels and a leather wrapped dash. It will house a Mazda’s SKYACTIV-D 2.2-liter turbo-diesel engine power-plant. Rumor has it that we should be seeing this engine in the USA, so we have our fingers crossed. Turbo + Diesel + Wagon = the best of all worlds, at least we think so!


Turbo Potential

With all the talk of the new Mazda 6 Sky-D being released here in the US and the released Cx5 Sky-D in other markets around the world, I got to thinking about all of the fun modifications you could make to the 2.2 dual turbocharged Sky-D Engine.

If you look at the arrangement of the turbo setup on the Sky-D engine, you can see the whole setup is pretty convoluted to 1) keep costs down and 2) package everything in a tight space so you do not burn the insulation and paint off the firewall.

A more comprehensive view of the set-up shows how large the catalyst is that Mazda used in order to meet the strict emissions for diesels in the European market.

Looking over the setup I can see several improvements which could be made to increase the power output of the engine through work on the exhaust side. If you take a look at the engine Mazda announced with the press release about running in the Grand-am GX class with the Sky-D engine, they simplified the twin turbo setup on the engine by setting the turbo arrangement in a more traditional configuration using one turbo to feed the other unlike the stock setup where both turbos feed a common plenum.

The advantage of the race engine is that you are running an intercooler before the second turbo to make the most of the cooling and then you can run the charge from the second turbo into an additional intercooler from there. While the race setup is nice, it isn’t practical for most people on street driven vehicles. I would look at changing the turbo outlet package with a better and smoother flowing downpipe and integrate the catalyst at an angle which is not 90 degrees to the exhaust entry and exit.

Looking at the production turbo setup that Mazda is showing with the new Mazda 6, there are differences in the packaging of the turbos. You can see that Mazda changed the actuators to be more compact against the back of the engine.

Based on the size of the parts, I bet you can squeeze a Garrett GTX35 on the back of the engine and hit a solid 400 hp and 600 wheel torque with some upgraded injectors and pump. When I get one I will have to try it out and report back on how it goes. Incidentally here is a picture of the production Mazda 6 Skyactiv-D engine I wanted to share.

With that monster catalyst relocated, you get a large empty space on the back of the engine which would be perfect for a large waste gate and all of the needed piping to hit that 400hp number. You can imagine the surprise on someone’s face watching a Cx5 walk all over them on the street or the freeway.


2014 MX-5 Going SkyActiv Turbo

We have blogged about what’s to come for the 2014 Mazda MX-5 in the past. At the time it was reported that the MX-5 Miata was going to be lighter than the current model by around 720 lbs and when I reported on this last August, the word was that the MX-5 would come with a 1.5-liter SkyActiv-G four-cylinder engine that would produce up to 160 horsepower and would be mated to a six-speed manual transmission with an option to change to a dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission.

It appears though that Mazda still has not settled on which engine will make its way into the next generation MX-5. Auto Guide reported last month that the engine originally planned for the MX-5 didn’t cut it and neither did a version of their current SkyActiv 2.0L four-cylinder engine. The 1.5 did not meet Mazda’s performance requirements and the 2.0L didn’t have the fuel economy.

So what now? Well it seems that the solution may come in the form of a 1.8L SkyActiv four-cylinder 1.3L or 1.5L turbo-charged engine. The new turbo engine will employ SkyActiv technologies like variable cam phasing with lower friction parts to boost performance and fuel economy and will also be mated to reduced-friction transmissions.

Whichever powerplant Mazda decides on, you can expect the car to produce roughly 150 hp with about a 10-percent improvement in fuel economy from the current MX-5’s (22 city/28 highway mpg). The new Miata is scheduled to make a debut by mid-2014 and will be priced under $25,000.