Here’s A Closer Look At Mazda’s New Rear-Wheel Drive, Straight-Six Platform: News

This should underpin the next-generation Mazda6 and a couple crossovers as well

Mazda straight-six platform
(Images: Mazda)

Mazda has been fairly quiet lately — but not anymore.

Major changes are afoot within the Mazda offices, as the brand aims to take on luxury rivals across the industry. Yesterday gave us a fairly comprehensive glimpse at what it’s planning, including no fewer than thirteen electrified vehicles over the course of the next few years. While battery-electric vehicles are all well and good, that doesn’t mean Mazda will leave internal combustion behind though — at least not for a little while.

To that end, here are some more details on the company’s next hardware move, as reported by our friends over at Road & Track. With these cutaway photos, Mazda just confirmed in more explicit detail the straight-six engine and rear-wheel drive layout that’s been rumored these past several months. The six-cylinder engine will pair up to its “large vehicles” — namely the next-generation Mazda6 and likely the follow up to the CX-9 and, as far as we know, the upcoming CX-50. The powerplant will comprise a 48-volt mild hybrid system, which plays into that electrification goal to an extent.

Beyond the engine itself, we can see what looks like double-wishbone suspension and multilink rear suspension. A driveshaft heading to the front wheels also indicates both rear- and front-wheel drive capability, akin to what you’d get in nearly every luxury model Mazda would compete against. Given the team’s reputation for driving dynamics, this may well outclass that bunch and really be the shining jewel in Mazda’s upscale crown.

If you’ve been hoping for more ambitious hybrid projects, though, don’t worry. Mazda has you covered there too, as we can see below:

PHEVs are coming too

The automaker teased what’s cooking in the powertrain department a few months ago. Among the engines was a four-cylinder-backed plug-in hybrid option, which you can see in the cutaway above. With the electric MX-30 (and its rotary range extender) making its way to the U.S., there will soon be quite a bit more choice in the future lineup.

We should hopefully see more concrete details soon, but there’s plenty of exciting news to look forward to here.