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Mazda Patent Reveals a New Inline-6 Engine

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Mazda inline 6 patent drawing
Photo: Japan Patent Office

Mazda is all about dynamic driving, so it’s no shock that the rising-star automaker is patenting plans for a new engine and transmission.

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About the rumored mill

Mazda inline 6 patent drawing
Photo: Japan Patent Office

A recent patent application revealed that Mazda intends to produce an inline-six engine that’s meant to pair with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. It appears to be designed to work with the automaker’s upcoming premium rear-wheel-drive platform.

The new inline-six is rumored to offer both gasoline and diesel-powered models, and experts also expect to see the new mill offer a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. It’s also rumored to have a unique exhaust system, which will keep the powerplant at a manageable size. This compact engine will enable Mazda to be more creative with its car’s proportions. It could even fit into a sports car — whether that’s a future Miata or an all-new model of roadster. Regardless, a new Mazda hot rod would be a welcome addition to the lineup.

Hints about future vehicles

2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Photo: Mazda

Previously, we’ve delved into some of Mazda’s upcoming plans. Back in 2019, a corporate document revealed that Mazda intends to use inline-six versions of the SKYACITV-G and SKYACTIV-D engines to power its future large-architecture models. Plus, the new engine’s longitudinal layout is designed to work with both rear- and all-wheel drive. In other words, the new engine hints that the coming years could bring us some new Mazda SUVs.

As for the eight-speed transmission, it’ll probably replace the automaker’s current standard-issue six-speed automatic. While it’s likely not going to cause a titanic shift, it could provide a smoother ride and boost efficiency.

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What else could the future hold?

2020 Mazda CX-9
Photo: Mazda

Given that the previously mentioned Mazda corporate document gave us a sneak peek at the new inline-six engine, its other plans may also come to fruition. These would include updated infotainment software and semi-autonomous driver-assist technology that’s meant to be the next evolution of Mazda Co-Pilot.