A gap in major model launches from Mazda is expected until a large-vehicle architecture debuts in March 2023, according to a Nikkei Asian Review report. This will be the one the feature a new six-cylinder engine, which was patented around the same time as that for a new eight-speed automatic transmission earlier this month.

There will be both petrol and diesel versions of Mazda’s new inline-six cylinder engine, the petrol version being a Skyactiv-X unit with Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI), and the diesel will be a second-generation Skyactiv-D powerplant.

In Mazda’s full-year financial report presentation in May last year from which the Japanese automaker’s large-model architecture plans were revealed, mild and plug-in hybrid electrification will be incorporated into the new engines as well. “We’re excited to bring these powertrains to our future vehicles as we continue on our path to premium,” though specific details will “be disclosed at an appropriate time,” the Japanese automaker said.

Mazda inline-six engine patent. Click to enlarge

The forthcoming large model is pitched at a considerably higher position than the Hiroshima-based automaker’s current products, as the company is aiming to court customers who would be interested in models from Lexus, for example, the report said. Until such time, however, there will be a dearth of major product launches, and instead smaller updates to its product line-up can be expected, the report said.

A key draw for potential customers in terms of technological advancements will be its Skyactiv-X engine, which was launched last year. Mazda does however have the MX-30 electric vehicle which was launched last October; having said that, not many will be built, and consequently the MX-30 ‘will not contribute much’ to Mazda’s sales volume, suppliers told Nikkei.

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