(By Tom Lohnes) – Since its launch in 2002 the Mazda6 has been a boring, cookie-cutter daily driver, serving normal people on normal days. Its 2.5-liter naturally aspirated Inline-four and front-wheel-drive as well as its lack of a manual transmission gave us nothing to write home about. But the one and a half generations of Mazdaspeed6, in 2006 and 2019(basically a Mazda6 with a turbo) spiced things up a bit. The latest one made 250 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft of torque. But the Mazda6 was still just a boring car.
With Mazda’s recent shift to a more luxury-focused brand from a sporty brand, they already gave the Mazda3, Mazda CX-9, and CX-5 the treatment, and they dropped the CX-30 which is basically a raised Mazda3. But that leaves two models out.
The Fun little MX-5 and the Mazda6. Well now it’s only the Miata, because the 6 is going upmarket. The Mazda6 is ditching its 4-cylinder, front-wheel-drive layout in favor of a 6-cylinder rear-wheel-drive one. Upgrades, people, upgrades. A rendering of the supposed new Mazda6 is shown as the lead photo.
The new 6 hasn’t been released yet, but Mazda just filed a patent for a rear-wheel-drive sedan, as well as a new 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 and a new 8-speed automatic. This is a big step for Mazda because as of now, no car in their lineup has any more than 250 horsepower or more than six forward gears. Also, Mazda hasn’t made a rear-wheel-drive vehicle not under the name MX-5 since 1995. The Mazda6 is expected to have around 350 horsepower and should have the same plush interior and infuriating infotainment system as all of the other models.
The new Mazda6 should debut sometime in the next few months and should start at around $40,000-$45,000. Its main rivals should be the BMW M340i and Audi S4.