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  Article Image gallery (3) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Japan
Introduced in:2016
Designed by:Julian Sole for Multimatic
Predecessor:Mazda Prototype
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:January 10, 2016
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Click here to download printer friendly versionFrom 2013, Mazda Racing fielded diesel-engined machines. Initially they raced a production inspired Mazda 6 in GrandAm and then a prototype in the United SportsCar Championship during 2014 and 2015 seasons. Sharing many of its major components with the production Skyactiv-D production engine, it proved very potent but ultimately unable to match the petrol engines of the rivals in top end performance. Be it reluctantly, this prompted Mazda to switch to a more conventional petrol engine for the 2016 season.

Developed together with longtime partner AER, the new engine is dubbed the MZ-2.0T and was based on the MZR-R used previously for he Mazda-engined prototypes. As the name suggests, it is a two-litre, turbocharged unit. The dry-sump four-cylinder is equipped with direct fuel-injection just like many of Mazda's production petrol engines. Fitted with the mandatory restrictor, it is rated at 570 bhp, which is a startling 285 bhp per litre. The MZ-2.0T is mated to an XTrac sourced, paddle-operated six-speed sequential gearbox.

The new drivetrain is installed in the back of the Multimatic-sourced LMP2-specification chassis. Originally a Lola design, the conventional Coupe features a carbon-fibre composite monocoque with double wishbones and push-rod actuated springs and dampers on all four corners. The chassis used are virtually identical to the ones used for the diesel engined machines, and the petrol Prototype was already tested alongside the diesel cars from the middle of the 2015 season.

The petrol-powered Mazda Prototypes made their public debut during the 'Roar before the 24' test early in January of 2016, where the cars were immediately competitive. The competition debut of the two cars will follow later in the month at the season opening Daytona 24 Hours.

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  Article Image gallery (3) Specifications