Most carmakers these days are either moving towards electrification, downsizing their engines, or a combination of both. That includes Mazda, too, targetting for a completely-electrified line-up by 2030, with 25% of those being full EVs. Yet, the Japanese carmaker still can’t stop flirting with the good ol’ big boy inline-sixes; the next-generation Mazda CX-5 SUV has now been confirmed to feature a six-cylinder engine, up from four in the current model.

Or at least, that’s what Mazda Australia Managing Director Vinesh Bhindi said during a presentation to journalists in the Land Down Under.

“Mazda continues to invest in high-efficiency combustion engines, with SkyActiv-X, and the new generation straight-six engine family that will power our new-generation large-platform products, which is CX-5 and above,” Bhindi told journalists, as reported by carsales.

If that is indeed true, the next-generation Mazda CX-5 will actually be up-sizing its engine line-up from four to six-cylinders, instead of downsizing like everyone else!

Mazda’s latest SkyActiv Multi-Solution Scalable Architecture

Bhindi’s statement is in line with Mazda’s recent announcement of its rear-wheel drive platform for large vehicles project, where a six-cylinder petrol or diesel engine will be paired to a 48-volt mild-hybrid setup, with drive sent to the rear wheels.

Mazda’s new platform is also RWD-focused! Check it out in more detail here.

The statement also pretty much confirms that the next-gen CX-5 will be built on Mazda’s new SkyActiv Multi-Solution Scalable Architecture, which will be shared with other larger Mazda models including the Mazda6, CX-8, and CX-9.

With the bigger engine plus electrical assistance, the upcoming Mazda CX-5 will most likely see a significant increase in power output, while producing lesser emissions and drinking less fuel thanks to more modern engine technologies.

Earlier leaks suggest that the next-gen Mazda CX-5 range will be available with a 281 hp/340 Nm 3.0-litre petrol mill, as well as a 281 hp/600 Nm 3.3-litre turbodiesel, both with the aforementioned 48V mild-hybrid tech.

The six-cylinder powertrains is expected to be reserved for the pricier variants, however; lower-end models should still come with a four-banger under its bonnet – the same engine that Mazda is looking to use for its plug-in hybrid variants, as announced by the company in June.

The current Mazda CX-5 range-topper gets a 2.5-litre turbo inline-four engine with 226 hp. Check out our full review here!

But of course, none of these speculations have been confirmed just yet, so we’ll just have to wait and see. It does make sense though that Mazda is focusing on the CX-5, seeing that it is the carmaker’s best-seller by far, moving 361,051 units in 2020 despite the pandemic-riddled year. The only question then is, when?