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Jun22

Why a Joint Toyota-Mazda RWD Platform and Inline-6 Engine Makes Sense

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A Mazda inline-six cylinder engine developed for a rear wheel-drive-based mostly platform has been business information since information broke in Might. However new reporting from Greatest Automotive in Japan affirm that Toyota/Lexus and Mazda will share that rear wheel-drive platform and inline-six engine.

Mazda’s inline-six engine improvement will embrace Skyativ-X (gasoline) and Skyativ-D (diesel) variants, mounted longitudinally. Moreover, a forty eight-volt delicate-hybrid electrical system and all-wheel-drive variants can be provided. The query is what this has to do with Toyota.

First, this may not be a new relationship between the 2 Japanese carmakers. They’re teaming up on a plant to construct Corollas and a new crossover in Huntsville, AL. Whether or not that new mannequin is solely a Mazda, or a shared platform with Toyota, stays to be seen. There are presently no decisive indications that it is going to be a shared platform, however it makes one marvel.

Toyota has found out that low-quantity fashions usually are not well worth the funding in design, improvement, and manufacturing with out teaming up with one other producer. As proof, we’ve seen the joint Subaru improvement for the 86, the BMW partnership for the “Zupra” (can I trademark that?), and — let’s not overlook — the Mazda 2 and Scion/Toyota iA. Mazda additionally teamed up with Fiat to show the MX-5 in to the 124 Spyder and Abarth.

The trouble to duplicate different producer’s automobiles into Toyotas is minor in comparison with the whole product improvement price range. The economies of scale may be proven to allow the automobiles to be constructed profitably, however solely when sharing improvement prices. Promoting two variations underneath two model names doesn’t harm when the second model is one as revered as Toyota.

To date, Toyota has leveraged different producer’s platforms and powertrains, massaging them to slot in their showrooms. This enables them to give attention to their strengths and leverage the extra distinctive platforms from others. Improvement prices are highest when making an attempt to do one thing new or totally different. Primarily, if it doesn’t match into Toyota’s New International Structure, they’ll search a partnership to fill that area of interest.

It really works for each events, too. Trade of know-how is usually a part of the deal, which might help the opposite producers enhance their power in different market segments. They’re additionally promoting extra of the automobiles that they’re manufacturing, serving to to repay these improvement prices and hold their crops worthwhile.

Toyota could also be persevering with the development and, quite than designing their very own subsequent-era RWD platform, they’ve opted to group up with one other companion to distribute the event prices. The brand new inline-six engine may simply be a part of the deal. They didn’t change the engines within the iA, 86, or Z4/Supra, as that may negate the fee sharing advantages.

The brand new platform might both be a Mazda6 alternative, or supplemental premium sedan. In response to Greatest Automotive, the Lexus IS is slated to be moved to a TNGA platform, with V6 energy. Whereas the shared platform might exchange the Lexus IS for the 2022 Mannequin Yr, it appears counter-intuitive that the car can be developed and changed solely two years later. They speculate a new coupe that sits between the RC and LC, although that additionally looks like a slender hole to shoot for.

What would make sense to me is that if the IS platform was stretched for an additional couple years by a minor mannequin change. Then, the brand new platform would underpin the subsequent IS sedan and RC coupe. If they’re to truly hit the 2022 MY deployment, then early prototypes ought to be operating round as quickly as subsequent yr.

[Images: Mazda]

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