Mazda Explains 6 Diesel Delay

2014 mazda6 sport

Mazda says the twice-delayed launch of its much-anticipated diesel engine is related to performance -- not emissions -- and updated plans could be revealed at the New York International Auto Show in April.

“We didn’t think the powertrain was ‘zoom-zoom’ enough,” Mazda North America CEO Jim O’Sullivan told Automobile Magazine.

The diesel engine was originally scheduled to arrive late in 2013 in the Mazda 6 mid-size sedan, but in September, Mazda decided to delay the diesel variant until spring 2014. Then, in January, the company announced another delay; no timeline for the launch was given. A spokesman said this week there is no update on the arrival time.

The 2.2-liter four-cylinder turbocharged diesel powerplant is the second phase of Mazda’s Skyactiv engine strategy, following the 2.5-liter gasoline unit that is widely used across the company’s lineup. The diesel, called Skyactiv-D, makes about 148 hp and 280 lb-ft in the European-spec Mazda 6, and a Sport variant is tuned to make 173 hp and 310 lb-ft. The CX-5 crossover also uses the Skyactiv-D engine in European markets, but Mazda has not announced plans to offer a diesel for the CX-5 in the United States.

“We still think it’s [diesel] a significant part of our plan,” O’Sullivan said. “This is not just another engine.”

If plans for an update at the New York show stick, Mazda will become the first Asian automaker to offer a diesel engine option in a modern passenger car for sale in the United States. Nissan has announced a Cummins 5.0-liter V-8 diesel option for its next-generation Titan half-ton pickup truck, expected by calendar year 2015. At the Chicago Auto Show, Nissan displayed a Frontier pickup concept with a 2.8-liter four-cylinder Cummins diesel.

O’Sullivan says Mazda’s delay is worth it because a poor-performing diesel would tarnish the brand. It would also put another dent in the image of diesel engines in the U.S. market, where many consumers still stereotype them as smelly, dirty, and only acceptable for semi-trailer trucks.

“This engine is going to get much more attention,” he said. “If it doesn’t go well, I don’t want to add to the reputation.”

For Mazda, which has a strong standing among enthusiasts for its motorsports pedigree, a diesel with a sluggish driving character would be particularly damning. The company has had some success with the Skyactiv diesel competing in the International Motorsports Association’s Grand-Am series, and currently campaigns Skyactiv diesel racing cars in the Grand-Am successor, Tudor United Sports Car Championship.

Diesel engines are part of Mazda’s plans to lure new buyers from other brands in a bid to raise its visibility in North America, where it maintains a loyal following but a small market share. Mazda sales dipped nearly 12 percent, to 18,813 vehicles in January 2014, although calendar year 2013 sales were up 2.5 percent over 2012, to 283,947 cars and trucks.

I have a 2012 jetta tdi sportwagen that i an to trade in when this diesel mazda finally comes stateside. Vw's poor quality control and panorama roof leaks have pushed me over the edge, but i love the drivetrain. So this mazda appears to fit the bill. Japanese reliability, and a turbodiesel under the hood. And it is the best looking japanese car in its market segment.
Cagey Dog
If you read automotive blogs based out of countries where this engine is already on sale, you will discover that the engine has serious reliability and oil contamination issues. With the power numbers, it is clear this engine will scoot, it isn't a "performance" issue, at least not in the traditional sense.
Come on Mazda... its a just diesel.   If this was Europe you would be the last one to the party with the diesel powered car.  Virtually every auto manufacture has great diesels vehicles now and have for the past few years. I suspect the hold up is political pressure from the big oil companies.  Get off the pot.. we're tired of waiting while the rest of the world moves on.
toyota mdt
I am a Mazda technician and I have just completed my Mazda diesel engine course. I'm pretty sure the sky active- d is very close to arriving.
Tom Urban
They are lying. the CX-5 has a ton of power. I think it is  emissions, watch top driver tow a camper with it

I really like Mazda and am considering a '14...probably 3-series hatch.  Up to now, I've owned Toyotas, mostly, and a Subaru.   Given its torque, I think diesel would work well in Mazda's small SUV.
Diesel Tech Forum
While the delays in the Mazda 6 SKYACTIV-D have surely frustrated some, kudos to Mazda for its  transparency and ongoing communications about why and when.  It shows they really care about their customers and Mazda's performance heritage.
Good things come to those who wait!
Janice Lecharoen
My 2009 Saturn Vue Hybrid pissed me off again. I am looking for the 2014 Cx-9 with the diesel engine. Why the delay? Will it be out in 2015 instead. I need a new car now. I am sending my car to the junkyard. No one wants the problems that I am having!
@automobilemag @MazdaUSA @MazdaTurkey skyactive-d me zaman geliyor cx5 te 1.6 dizel olursa ne güzel olur piyasa seç beğen al
@automobilemag @MazdaUSA dizel mi dedin la, bir daha de
@Cagey Dog  what publications have you seen this in?
@toyota mdt  do you think they'll put the diesel in the 3?

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