Ward's Auto had a lot of praise for the motor, putting it on their list of "10 Best Engines" several years in a row. Here is what they said in 1998:
Mazda engineers doubtless got plenty of overtime in developing the Miller. What the driver gets is a stomping 91 hp/L and all the midrange torque one would expect from at least a largish V-6 - yet the Miller-cycle engine is just 2.3L, a displacement more common for 4-cyl. engines... We only wish that Mazda, or ever-more-involved corporate parent Ford, would find more ways to use this innovative and refined engine. The Millenia is a wonderful car, but we can't help thinking that new Cougar could be a lot of fun with the Miller-cycle underhood.
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That, unfortunately, was not to be. The Millenia was killed off in 2003 and it was not replaced, and that clever Miller cycle V6 never saw duty in any other car. So why didn't the Miller cycle V6 see more action? Motive Mag once brought up some good reasons: it's complex, expensive, and doesn't really add that much power to the car. It's an interesting setup, but it's not all that worth it.
Mazda did put a Miller cycle engine to use again in the current Mazda2, which uses a 1.3-liter Miller Cycle engine in non-U.S. markets, but this one is naturally aspirated.
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What do you think? Would you like to see the Miller cycle put to use on more cars? Do you have any experiences with the Millenia?
Help me out, Jalops. I'd like to make Forgotten Cars a regular thing, but I need suggestions. I'm looking for stuff that's really obscure and that even the most seasoned car experts know little about. Give us some ideas in the comments!
And lets not forget about the 1990-95 Eunos Cosmo when mentioning Mazda (Eunos being Mazda's Japan-only luxury brand during the late 80s and 90s). It's ugly and square, but under the hood hides either the RX-7s 1.3l twin turbo twin-rotor 13B Rotary or the big block of Rotaries; the 2.0l twin turbo triple-rotor 20B. Less than 10,000 made (if I recall correctly) with a ratio of about 60/40 13Bs and 20Bs. The 20B had 300 horsepower and could do 0-100 km/h in 6.2 seconds, but was limited to 180 km/h by restrictors. Once those were removed it would go 250+.
Of course, it only came with a 4-speed slush-box, but who'd want one for anything other than to swap the engine into an RX-7 FD?
EDIT: Admittedly though, this thing was shock-full of luxurious technology even by today's standards. It had goddamn GPS and touch screens 1990!