There’s been a rumor floating around for a while now that Mazda — the company that now makes five indistinguishable crossovers, the Mazda 3 and the Miata — has seen god and will deliver to us a rear-wheel-drive, inline-six-powered sport sedan with design inspired by the breathtaking RX-Vision concept from seven years ago. Yeah, that’s not happening.
The confirmation comes courtesy of Mazda Europe development and engineering executive Joachim Kunz, who told Autocar what you and I already know: SUVs are hot, sedans aren’t, and, if they were, the brand might count more than one in its lineup already. Via CarBuzz, which spotted the quote in the auto publication’s latest print edition:
“It would be very nice… to have the FR [front-engine, rear-driven] concept and six-cylinder engine for a Mazda 6 successor or a large sports coupe,” he told the magazine. “We would like to have it, but at this point in time, it’s most important to sell SUVs.” He expands on the latter statement: “This SUV trend is continuing, and even more for Mazda. It’s what’s selling best.”
What makes Kunz’ totally predictable commentary sting even worse is that in one fell swoop, he not only eliminated the prospect of the mythical rear-wheel-drive Mazda 6, but also a “large sports coupe.” That means a production version of the RX-Vision is off the table as well — a shame, seeing as how the RX-Vision is as close to perfect as a car can look. Shed a tear for the RX-Vision GT3 too, while you’re at it.
Sure, we could all see this coming from hundreds of miles away; sure, you could sprint up behind anyone on the street, grab them by the shoulders, spin them around and ask, fevered and urgently, if the Mazda sports sedan was really coming and they’d tell you without a moment’s pause that such a proposition would be ridiculous in this market. They’d also probably say something like “why’d you touch me, what the fuck is wrong with you?” though that part would come after the answer, which they’d definitely give because it was so obvious to literally everyone.
Unfortunately, sometimes you want to believe something so badly that you buy into the dream no matter how unlikely it may be. The auto industry has been highly susceptible to that as of late, because everything is expensive and several genres of car are dying slow deaths. Chances are that if you liked the idea of the rear-wheel-drive Mazda sedan, you’re probably not satisfied with the state of things.
The Mazda 6 is officially dead, after all — once the manufacturer sells through its existing 2021 stock, that’s it. The diesel Skyactiv-D came and went like a flash in the night for the CX-5 in North America and never made it to the 6; the breakthrough Skyactiv-X, a triumphant middle finger to anyone who thought internal combustion engine design had gone as far as it could possibly go, has been kept from our shores because Mazda believes Americans won’t compromise power for efficiency. Which I’m willing to bet is probably true, even today. Best snap up a Mazda 3 Turbo before that handsome hatch winds up in the same place those neat engines did.