A New Six! By Eric Peters

Nowadays, any car company introducing a new internal combustion engine is big news. Especially noteworthy is Mazda, which is introducing a new internal combusion engine that has six cylinders. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

The first person who took off his “mask” – it was always put that way, to emphasize the false possessive – or better yet, never put one on, in spite of the signs and the pressure – helped hasten the day when everyone else was free to take off their “masks.” 

Maybe what Mazda is doing will do the same. 

Hold onto you helmet, now. A new six is on deck. Not a new turbocharged 2.0 liter four (the engine that has been replacing sixes in almost everything; viz the 2023 Lexus RX350, which is now functionally the RX240 but is still called what it’s no longer got).

The six is straight, too – another thing that seems to be falling by the wayside.

But the take home point is Mazda is bringing out a new six – rather than retiring one. A 3.3 liter straight six will be the new standard powerplant in the 2024 CX-90, Mazda’s new rear-wheel-drive-based crossover SUV.

The latter also a change for the better in that it’s a change away from front-wheel-drive practically everything. Front-wheel-drive has its advantages, of course. It is helpful in the snow, for instance. But it is – fundamentally – an economy car layout. Not that there is anything wrong with economy cars. But it was once the case that average people regularly drove rear-drive cars that were similar-in-layout to the expensive cars driven by the affluent. This was once possible because rear-drive cars were once affordable. You could drive an economy car if you wanted to.

Not necessarily because you had to.

These rear-drive cars of the past also almost always came with at least a six. Often, a V8 engine was available, optionally. A good example – one of many – being a car like the Chevy Nova of the ’70s and also the Dodge Dart of the same era. These were not expensive cars but they were rear-wheel-drive and they came standard with a six cylinder engine; both offered V8s, too.

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