Mazda has no major vehicle launches planned through March 2022, according to a new report from Nikkei Asian Review. Mazda’s current lineup, including the all-new CX-30, will receive no significant updates or redesigns. That could make things difficult for the automaker and its dealers as the company continues the development of a new large-vehicle architecture and its new powertrain, which will debut before March 2023.
Mazda’s plans for a new large-vehicle architecture surfaced in its March 2019 investor report, which detailed the platform, new inline-six gas and diesel engines, a mild-hybrid system, an EV platform, and more. The new platform and inline-six engines could move the brand upmarket, too, allowing the brand to compete against Mercedes, BMW, and Lexus. It’d be a big move for the automaker, and one that could eat a ton of R&D cash over the next few years.
Mazda hopes new technologies and features can entice customers from rival brands in the absence of new products, redesigns, or refreshes. One possibility is more support for diesel engines. Mazda already offers the twin-turbocharged 2.2-liter SkyActiv-D in the CX-5, and there are rumors an all-new mill is in development with a 2020 reveal date. The current SkyActiv-D is supposed to find its way into the Mazda6 sedan sometime, too.
That March 2019 investor report also noted that Mazda would begin rolling out many of the new products and technologies between 2020 and 2025, which lines up with Nikkei Asian Review’s latest report, even though there’ll be a major product drought for the next few years.
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One rumor that’s always circulating is the possible return of Mazda’s rotary engine. Mazda even teased such a possibility as recently as last November. However, there have been no definitive answers from Mazda about its return, which has sent mixed messaging about the engine. Last year, Mazda said it planned to use the mill as a range extender. It also said that it wanted a rotary-powered sports car.
While Mazda may not have any notable vehicle launches planned for the next two years, announcing new powertrains – maybe the return of the rotary – and architectures are possible. Those should give us a glimpse of what to expect after March 2022.