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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Toyota possibly partnering up with Mazda for new RWD platform

While its next generation BT-50 will share both the underpinnings and engines with Isuzu’s forthcoming all-new D-Max, a report from Japan has claimed that Mazda could be supplying its brand-new rear-wheel-drive platform and straight-six engines to Toyota as part of a reported partnership.

Based on the claims from Japanese publication Best Car, the platform will likely not only underpin the next generation Mazda6 sold in Japan as the Atenza, but also the Toyota Mark X and even the Lexus IS and RC.

Whereas the platform will debut when the Atenza arrives in 2022, it could be used by Lexus as early as 2026 when the TGNA underpinned IS and RC models bow out, while the Mark X’s N-platform, which can trace its routes back to 1989 with the launch of the very first Lexus LS, will end production at the end of this year.

Aside from the platform, the new straight-six engine will form part of Mazda’s SkyActiv-X spark controlled compression ignition family that debuted in the new 3, although in this case, with a displacement of 3.0-litres and two additional cylinders instead of 2.0-litres.

Like the 3’s four-cylinder though, the straight-six will be supplemented by a 48-volt mild-hybrid system and also have the option of the i-Activ all-wheel-drive system. At the same time, the engine will also be offered in SkyActiv-D turbodiesel form with likely the same displacement.

The article however states that despite the platform and engine sharing with Toyota playing an assistance role to Mazda in the development stages, both manufactures will produce their respective model on their own terms.

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