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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Next generation CX-5 will join 6 in using Mazda’s incoming new straight-six engine

Switch to rear-wheel-drive will be a first for Mazda's flagship since the Sentia in 1999.

Having unveiled its all-new turbocharged straight-six engine last month, a pair of reports from Japan has shed more light on Mazda’s intended use of the powerunit, as well as the new rear-wheel-drive architecture of the new 6.

According to Best Car, the engine and platform will enter production next year in preparation for not only the 6 in 2022, but also the all-new CX-5 whose unveiling is still to be determined. Said to have a displacement of three-litres, which is also still to be confirmed, the inline-six will be offered as a petrol, turbodiesel and compression ignition or SkyActiv-X unit with all being supplemented by a 48-volt mild-hybrid system.

So far, the sole transmission option is an eight-speed automatic with no manual mentioned. In spite of the rear-wheel-drive layout, the platform will be able to accommodate an all-wheel-drive system in some markets.

Confirmed to provide the base for the next generation Lexus RC and IS as part of parent company Toyota’s partnership with Mazda on the platform, Best Car, in a secondary report, claims that the 6 will have an overall length of 4 900 mm, a wheelbase of 2 850 mm, height of 1 420 mm and width of 1 800 mm. This stands in contrast to the current model’s dimensions of 4 865 mm in length, wheelbase of 2 830 mm, height of 1 450 mm and width of 1 840 mm, while the overall weight is poised to increase from 1 503 kg to 1 550 kg. Best Car has also alleged that the engine will produce 221kW/343Nm, but this should be taken with a pinch of salt for now.

With styling reportedly from the Vision Coupe concept shown three years ago at the Tokyo Motor Show alongside the Kai that become the 3 two years later, the arrival of the rear-wheel-drive 6 will be the first for Mazda since the H-platform bowed out with the Sentia in 1999, with details surrounding its application in the CX-5 being unknown at present.

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