Mazda6 Diesel Breaks the 24-Hour Speed Record
One characteristic that defines a great racing driver is consistency: clipping off the same time lap after lap is a catalyst for development. The same is true for a good racing car. You want a machine that will give you the same performance every time you put it on the track. At best, an unpredictable car is slow. At worst- well, you get the idea.
Given all that, it looks as though the Mazda6 has a bright future ahead of it. Recently, three of the sleek sedans were able to crush over 20 records in a brutal, 24-hour-long top-speed run at the ATP test oval in Papenburg, Germany. The run was a measure of the car’s ability to maintain the highest possible average speed over a given time period, and in a challenge like this, if something can go wrong, it almost certainly will.
Thankfully for the Mazda team, the 6 held strong. Gunning to topple the record for diesel-powered production cars in the 2.0- to 2.5-liter displacement range, each sedan was powered by a 173 horsepower, 2.2-liter SKYACTIV-D clean-diesel motor running at a very low 14-to-1 compression ratio. The engine propelled the lead car to trounce the old record of 130.38 mph with a average of 137.37 mph. Not bad for a diesel.
Behind the wheel was a potpourri of professionals, journalists, and enthusiasts, each taking the helm for a 1.5-hour stint on track. A little over half a mph separated the three Mazdas, which is a testament to the consistency of both the drivers and the cars.
Click past the jump to read more about the Mazda6’s record.
Why it matters
As green technology makes bigger gains in the world of motorsport, we would be remiss to forget the contributions of the diesel powerplant. When it comes to endurance racing, it seems as though diesel is made to fit the bill, with notable examples coming from the Audi R10 TDI and Peugeot 908 HDi. When it comes to driving hard for a long time, those who know go diesel. The fact that they can be clean is just icing on the cake.