Mazda Will Reportedly Build Its Rear-Wheel Drive, Straight-Six Cars Sometime In 2022: News

A recent report says Mazda's aiming to produce 300,000 units

Mazda Vision Coupe
Mazda’s Vision Coupe is a fantastic looking concept, and it foreshadowed an all-new rear-wheel drive platform with inline-six engines. (Photos: Mazda)

Some fun news: The Mazda we know may soon change (in an exciting way).

Some major changes are reportedly afoot for Mazda, and they may arrive in the near future. A recent Nikkei report details the Japanese automaker’s lineup, including more on its “small” and “large” architecture plans. We’ve seen some evidence of this before, including a rear-wheel drive, straight-six platform to underpin it’s larger vehicles. Starting in 2022, the first of some 300,000 units will head into production, according to Mazda parts suppliers.

It’s not just one straight-six engine that’s reportedly in development, either. Nikkei further elaborates Mazda will unveil 3.0-liter and 3.3-liter powertrains. They may end up coming in gasoline and diesel forms, as well as Mazda’s own SkyActiv-X spark-controlled compression ignition (SPCCI) layout. While most outlets (TFL included) use futuristic concepts like the Vision Coupe — supposedly an analog for a rear-wheel drive Mazda6 — the technology will likely launch with crossovers first.

2019 Mazda CX-5 review
The next-generation Mazda CX-5 (or a similarly-sized stablemate) could move to a rear-wheel drive platform — and that would be a first for the brand’s crossovers.

In the automaker’s bid to move upmarket, we could see a rear-wheel drive crossover emerge first. Though there’s no official news on the matter, something CX-5-sized would take on the BMW X3, for example. We’ll have to wait and see how the development takes shape when the automaker makes its own official announcement. On its face, though, switching to a rear-wheel drive based platform should please the enthusiasts’ side of Mazda’s driver-focused philosophy.

Brace yourself, though — these changes are heartening, but Nikkei‘s report quotes Mazda officials, who acknowledge their cars may soon get significantly more expensive.