Current-gen Mazda 6 shown
Rumours and speculations of a rear-wheel drive, next-generation have been around since the Hiroshima-based company showcased its new FR architecture and inline-6 engines way back in November 2020.
However, there won’t be a RWD Mazda 6, as Akira Tamatani, the chief designer of the Mazda CX-60 has confirmed the matter with Australia’s GoAuto.
Artist’s rendition of how the RWD Mazda 6 could look like, via Kolesa.ru
Speaking to the Australian publication, he said, “For me, a RWD vehicle is something I really wanted to design, and now I’ve been given the opportunity to design this kind of thing, with this kind of packaging. I was so excited when I learned about it.”
When asked about the prospects of a RWD, new generation Mazda 6, Tamatani-san said that such an idea may only ever exist as a concept. “Since the vehicle height would be lower than the SUVs, I don’t think we can apply the same platform,” he said.
The Mazda CX-60 is one of the earliest Mazda models to offer an inline 6 engine coupled with a FR platform
He also added that physical constraints built into the newly-developed FR architecture limits how adaptable Mazda’s “Large Product Group” platform can actually be.
Tamatani-san also explained that the “Large Product Group” platform is mainly designed for SUVs, and its minimum ground clearance is between 150 mm to 160 mm.
Mazda Vision Coupe shown, supposedly previewing the next-gen Mazda 6
While a 150 mm would not be unusual for a D-segment sedan, it could end up looking too jacked-up for Mazda’s sleek design language.
But, if Mazda’s Large Product Group proves to be a success, a RWD Mazda 6 could come to fruition, said Tamatani-san. “For new sportscars and passenger cars, creating a new platform for those cars would need us to take certain steps to be able to take that action. Of course we have a passion to do that, but we need to take certain steps to get there,” he said.
Keyword: Plans for RWD, next-gen Mazda 6 canned, CX-60 platform not suitable