Mazda’s new 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is already making an impression on the newly launched Mazda CX-9 SUV and apparently, the CX-9 isn’t the only model that can take advantage of the new turbo four engine. Turns out, the engine is also compatible with both the Mazda 3 and Mazda 6, leading to the possibility that both models could one day get the engine for themselves.
Speaking with , Dave Coleman — Mazda North America vehicle development engineer — highlighted the engine’s size and versatility and how it’s configuration would be able to seamlessly fit into the engine makeup of both the 3 and the 6. It’s worth noting that both models use a naturally aspirated version of another 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that maxes out at 185 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. The numbers don’t exactly drive up excitement, but with a tuned version of the turbocharged four-cylinder in the mix, both the Mazda 3 and the Mazda 6 could receive as much as 228 horsepower on tap.
The Mazda 6, in particular, would benefit greatly from a turbo four engine. As it stands, the naturally aspirated four-cylinder is the only engine option available, which puts it in a significant disadvantage when you consider that two of its biggest rivals, the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry, both have range-topping versions that carry V-6 engines. Granted, the 228-horsepower output still falls short of the Camry’s 268-horsepower V-6, but it would still make up a significant gap in power that the current 6 suffers from relative to its rivals.
For its part, Mazda has made no indication of any plans to use the 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder on either the Mazda 6 or the Mazda 3. Until that announcement comes, if it does at all, let’s hope that it’s something that the Japanese automaker considers.
Why it matters
I know that there are some details Mazda needs to sort out before it can give either the Mazda 6 or the Mazda 3 a new engine. But from an interest and appeal standpoint, I think it’s a good idea for the Japanese automaker to seriously give some thought on how it can add this new engine into both models.
I already made the case for the 6 and to be honest, I think it’s a solid argument. Mazda can tout it for all it’s worth, but the bottom line is that whoever ends up considering the Mazda 6 as a viable option will have to be content with the fact that the car only comes with one engine. Not only does it not have a V-6 engine, it also lacks a hybrid powertrain, something both the Accord and the Camry have at their disposal. At its current makeup, the Mazda 6 is like that guy who only has one trick in a talent show. Mazda would be smart to take a long and serious look at this.
Meanwhile, the case for the Mazda 3 getting a turbocharged four-cylinder engine is a little trickier, if not more ambitious. Unlike the 6, the 3 doesn’t really need a turbocharged engine, unless it’s for a special edition version that will go directly against a car like the Honda Civic Type R. While that would be a nice sight to see – a return of the Mazda 3 MPS, perhaps? – the Japanese automaker has made it clear in the past that it has no plans of reviving its old hot hatch anytime soon.
If I were Mazda, I’d focus more on the 6 than the 3 out of sheer necessity for the model. The Mazda 3 can do fine without a turbocharged four-cylinder unless it decides to once again invest in a hot hatch. But the 6 is a different story because it’s already competing against models that have far more engine options at their disposal than the model has for its own. Basically, the 6 is outgunned and introducing a turbo-four into the mix would do wonders in addressing that.