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Bigger is better. Image by Mazda.

Bigger is better
A new 2.2-litre engine will replace Mazda's current 2.0-litre turbodiesel line-up. We've driven it.

   



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| First Drive | Frankfurt, Germany | Mazda6 2.2-litre TD |

We attended a day of technology workshops at Mazda's European R&D headquarters in Frankfurt. One of the most impressive figures to be quoted on the day was the 19% improvement in economy Mazda achieved across its range between 2001 and 2008, but more startling than that is the company's goal to reduce fuel consumption by a further 30% between now and 2015. That ambitious target will require a completely new range of engines, the first of which is a 2.2-litre turbodiesel, set to replace the current 2.0-litre unit. We tried it out for size in the Mazda6 Estate.

In the Metal

There's nothing to differentiate the 2.2-litre Mazda6 Estate from other models in the range at this stage, which should be no surprise, as the new unit will eventually replace the current 2.0-litre engine. The one big difference though is reduced levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and this is immediately obvious when you start the new engine up. It's even more impressive when on the move.

What you get for your Money

No pricing information is available as yet, though Mazda did let slip that the 182bhp (185 PS) version of the new engine will top a range of at least three different power outputs. It's likely that one of those will sit below the current 140PS 2.0-litre with another at 165PS. Once stocks of the 2.0-litre turbodiesel dwindle, we wouldn't be surprised to see a new 140PS model emerge as well. The Mazda6 will be the first car to feature the 2.2-litre unit with even the all-new Mazda3 (due to be revealed before the end of the year) making do with the PSA-supplied 1.6-litre turbodiesel and the current 2.0-litre. Nobody admitted as much, but it's highly probable that the CX-7 crossover will benefit from the new engine in time.

Driving it

Out on the road, the new engine instantly feels more tractable, as it should with up to 295lb.ft of torque available. The test route included a few miles of derestricted German autobahn, which was enough to accelerate the Mazda6 towards the top end of its speedo and even more impressive than the considerable performance on offer was the notably hushed noise from under the bonnet. It's significantly quieter than the current 2.0-litre diesel.

Worth Noting

The new unit uses the existing 2.0-litre's bore with an 8mm longer stroke yet it shares very little else with the old engine. Key changes, other than the capacity, include a more sophisticated variable geometry turbocharger, uprated pistons with integrated top ring cooling, a more advanced 2,000-bar direct injection system and a stiffer structure overall for enhanced refinement, while the exhaust system features an innovative new particulate filter that requires much less regeneration than before, hence saving fuel. A balancer shaft is also fitted. Thanks to the combination of technology employed on the new 2.2-litre unit, Mazda quotes an identical 50.4mpg on the 185PS version as the current 140PS 2.0-litre unit manages. That's hugely impressive.

Summary

A new engine launch is not major news in itself, but in Mazda's case the 2.2-litre turbodiesel represents the start of a whole new range of units that are aimed at reducing fuel consumption and emissions without losing driver appeal. Our first drive suggests that those objectives have been met and enhanced refinement is a nice bonus. The Mazda6 will be even more appealing than ever when the new 2.2-litre engine arrives in the showroom from January.

Shane O' Donoghue - 12 Sep 2008



  www.mazda.co.uk    - Mazda road tests
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- 6 2.2 TD images

2009 Mazda 6 2.2 TD specifications: (2.2 TD 185)
Combined economy: 50.4mpg
Kerb weight: 1551kg

2009 Mazda6 Estate. Image by Mazda.2009 Mazda6 Estate. Image by Mazda.2009 Mazda6 Estate. Image by Mazda.2009 Mazda6 Estate. Image by Mazda.2009 Mazda6 Estate. Image by Mazda.

2009 Mazda6 Estate. Image by Mazda.2009 Mazda6 Estate. Image by Mazda.2009 Mazda6 Estate. Image by Mazda.2009 Mazda6 Estate. Image by Mazda.2009 Mazda6 Estate. Image by Mazda.



2009 Mazda6 Estate. Image by Mazda.
 

2009 Mazda6 Estate. Image by Mazda.
 

2009 Mazda6 Estate. Image by Mazda.
 

2009 Mazda6 Estate. Image by Mazda.
 

2009 Mazda6 Estate. Image by Mazda.
 

2009 Mazda6 Estate. Image by Mazda.
 

2009 Mazda6 Estate. Image by Mazda.
 






 

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