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Rumor: 2020 Mazda6 Goes RWD, Shares Toyota-sourced Platform With RX-9 Sports Car

Introduced in 2012 and facelifted for the 2016 model year, the nice-handling Mazda6 gears up for an all-new generation. Expected to arrive in late 2019 or early 2020, the upcoming mid-size sedan is rumored to switch from front- to rear-wheel-drive.
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The rumor in question comes courtesy of Car Sensor. The Japanese publication argues that Mazda’s relationship with Toyota will see the two share an unspecified FR platform developed by Toyota. More curiously, the backbone is anticipated to underpin the long-awaited RX-9 sports car.

If that sounds strange, wait ‘till you hear this line from the cited write-up: “The project… also includes the next [BMW] 3 Series.” Preposterous is an understatement on this occasion, more so when you realize the G20 3er is confirmed to adopt the CLAR platform used by the G01 X3 and G30 5 Series.

In all likelihood, Car Sensor’s report is wildly off the mark. One further reason the 2020 Mazda6 will not make the switch to RWD is SkyActiv-Body Gen 2 and SkyActiv Chassis Gen 2. Confirmed to go official with the 2019 Mazda3, the next-generation underpinnings will definitely be adopted by the 6.

Engine-wise, the fourth-generation Mazda6 will share the 2.0-liter SkyActiv-X spark controlled compression engine with the compact hatchback, including the mild-hybrid system believed to be of the 48-volt flavor. According to the Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 timeline, the Japanese automaker will introduce the SkyActiv-D Gen 2 turbo diesel sometime during the calendar year 2020.

It will be interesting to wait and see if Mazda can make a business case for offering the 6 as a longroof, chiefly because the current model in station wagon attire has been canceled in a handful of markets due to poor sales. Another interesting scenario is the reintroduction of MPS, with the rumor mill suggesting the performance models will use a 2.5-liter SkyActiv-X mill.

Whatever Mazda plans to do, the bottom line is, the 6 won’t go RWD. Not even American automakers use this layout for their mid-size sedans, let alone a small automaker like Mazda that can't afford the development costs.

 
 
 
 
 

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