Mazda has never been a huge automaker, but they’re not letting that get in the way of their quest for luxury domination. The next-gen Mazda 6 will reportedly take on German luxury where it sleeps: longitudinal, inline-six engines on rear-wheel drive platforms.
We’ve known Mazda was working on an inline-six for awhile, but what we didn’t know was that it would be plugged into a rear-wheel drive sedan, which has everybody hot and bothered now.
From Car And Driver:
Mazda plans to adopt the blueprint of a full luxury model and hang a lower price on it. The next-generation 6, which should be on sale by the end of 2022, is set to get a full Bavarian, transitioning to a longitudinal-engine platform with rear-wheel drive and an inline-six.
That engine won’t just be a new layout for Mazda. It will incorporate the company’s Skyactiv-X sort-of-compression-ignition gasoline technology as well as a 48-volt hybrid system. We’ve seen numbers approaching 350 horsepower thrown around. If that sounds like an unrealistic R&D load for a company Mazda’s size, well, yeah, it is. However, Mazda has lately been deepening its ties with Toyota, which may adopt the six-cylinder Skyactiv-X for the next-generation Lexus IS and RC. With Toyota’s budget, Mazda engineers could probably welcome Elon Musk to Mars with a locally sourced shrimp buffet.
So the outfit making some of the best-looking cars on sale right now with a knack for offering a manual transmission on some of its models is about to build a rear-wheel drive sedan with an inline-six engine.
This thing is going to give the new hybrid CLS a run for its money, and it’s going to cost a fraction of the price. The other good news is this will likely be the foundation of some decent crossovers that don’t completely suck, too.