The D-segment sedan is in a litle bit of an odd position now. As most mass market car buyers flock towards SUVs, low sales numbers are pushing carmakers to either abandon the sedans and focus on making SUVs, or completely reinvent them into something more attractive and sporty to attract younger buyers – like the Toyota Camry did.
According to Car and Driver, Mazda might be going down the same track with its forthcoming Mazda 6 with a move than perhaps nobody expected – sticking an inline six engine on a longitudinal platform, sending the drive to the rear axles.
The engine will not just be a new drive layout either, as Mazda is reportedly incorporating the brand’s latest SkyActiv-X engines with 48V mild-hybrid system. According to Car and Driver’s sources, the power output should be around the 350 hp mark.
That might all sound like a ton of work, and you’d be right – especially for a relatively small company with a small R&D budget, such as Mazda. However, if you may remember, Mazda has an ongoing partnership with Toyota from 2015 to develop next-generation fuel efficient engines.
With Toyota sharing the costs, the rumours seem more likely. The partnership might also see the next Lexus IS and RC adopt the new SkyActiv-X inline-six engine too.
As for looks, sources say that the new Mazda 6 will see design elements borrowed from the highly-praised Vision Coupe concept car of the 2017 Tokyo Auto Show – the same KODO design language is already seen on the current Mazda 3, and if we may say, that’s a dang good-looking car.
And the last bit of good news? The new Mazda 6 will reportedly have a lower price tag too, without sacrificing on the luxuries. The forthcoming Mazda 6 is expected to debut by the end of 2022, and if the rumours are true, we already cannot wait.