The current generation Mazda 6 was launched way back in 2012, and a new model is well overdue. The new 6 is already under development, but it will be drastically different to the current model when it arrives in 2022.
Speculation has it that the new 6 will be rear-wheel drive, a first for the nameplate. The move to rear-wheel drive means Mazda is ready to elevate the 6 to the luxury executive class and compete with the likes of BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
It also means Mazda is currently developing an all-new platform from scratch to accommodate the front-engined, rear-drive format of the new 6. The new platform is likely the ‘Large Architecture’ first announced in a Mazda financial report last year. It will house a new longitudinal in-line six-cylinder engine matched with an also new eight-speed automatic transmission.
Mazda has been tight lipped about the new straight-six petrol engine, but a patent filing this year revealed a relatively compact engine, with variable exhaust ports.
Mazda’s innovative compression ignition tech is also expected to be featured, so are 48-volt mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid tech. And for certain markets, the company’s i-Activ all-wheel drive will also be available.
Perhaps, what’s more exiting about this whole Mazda rear-wheel drive development is the prospect for a large rear-drive sports coupe, and this could mean the long rumoured RX sports car may finally become a reality. Exciting times for Mazda ahead.