It looks like the next-gen Mazda 6 could give BMW and Mercedes a run for their moneyby Robert Moore, on
Mazda sits in a segment I like to call affordable luxury – they are fun to drive, fairly nice on the inside, very comfortable, and they have a sporty edge to them. This has become even more true as Mazda has starting improving both quality and its design language. However, with the hype leading up to the introduction of the Mazda 3 Turbo, we’ve sort of forgotten about the rest of the lineup. Today, I want to talk to you about the next-gen Mazda 6 and how it’s going to push Mazda into a new world of performance, luxury, and design.
The Mazda 6 Moves To A Sportier Drivetrain
One of the biggest pieces of news about the 2022 Mazda 6 was reported by Car & Driver back in the middle of 2020. That news was that the next-gen Mazda 6 would switch over to an inline six-cylinder engine and a RWD layout. other parts of that news including the possibility of a mild-hybrid powertrain, something that as particularly interesting has Mazda had shut down any hopes of a Mazdaspeed6 happening in the current generation. Following this news, in January of 2021, we learned that Mazda was starting production of RWD inline-six cars at the turn of 2022, and now, we’ve learned something even more important –
the Mazda 6 is gunning for BMW and Mercedes in the best way possible.
Beauty Is Only Skin Deep, But The Mazda 6 Will Be More Than Superficial Looks
So, what’s this new, fascinating news? Well, we’re receiving reports that Mazda is going to base the next-gen Mazda 6 on the Mazda Vision Coupe Concept that was revealed way back in 2017. If you don’t recall, this car featured a reward-sitting passenger cabin with a coupe-like roof and a long, menacing hood that clearly left enough room for the inline-six engine and RWD layout that we learned about a few years after its debut. The design language will be a big selling point to those who may transition from a BMW or Mercedes showroom. The Vision Coupe Concept, even at four years old as of the time of this writing, looks better than anything Merc or Bimmer has put out lately. But, that’s only part of it.
With this kind of design language outside, you can bet that Mazda is going to go all out in terms of technology on the inside. Expect the company to deliver better materials, fit and finish, and technology than ever before.
That inline-six will be the most important part, though, as with mild-hybrid power it could push the range-topping model up to as high as 350 horsepower.
The only downside here is that Mazda may not off a manual transmission with a DCT being the more likely standard offering – at least in the U.S. anyway. Over in Europe (and I assume Japan), manual transmissions are still a little more desirable. A manual transmission in the U.S., however, would make the new Mazda 6 stand out, even if it was an optional affair. With this in mind, the next-gen Mazda 6 could be a true sports sedan (or four-door coupe in Mercedes talk).
Mazda Is Playing A Risky Game
Think about this for a moment: most automakers are leaning away from internal combustion engines and are trying to embrace electrification as much as possible. Take Mercedes, for example, which has now introduced the all-electric EQS flagship and will only offer the C-Class with a four-cylinder engine. Meanwhile, Mazda is talking about rotary engines and a brand new inline-six – talk about taking a different path, right? In fairness, the rotary engine will only be used as a range extender, but that’s a story for another time.
The point is that Mazda is going all-in with a brand-new engine while other automakers are downsizing and going electric.
This, my friends, is exactly how Mazda will have the edge on its competition. While they are taking a completely different route, Mazda is going to be here with sexy, sporty cars with good, old fashioned internal combustion engines and fresh technology. That’s how you appeal to people who just aren’t ready to change quite yet, and I’m willing to bet Mazda is going to see a lot of success with the new Mazda 6 when it hits the market next year.