These cars deserve to do smokey burnouts.
Ask any car enthusiast what their preferred drivetrain is and you will likely get rear-wheel-drive as a response. RWD is the ideal setup for sports cars because it frees up the front wheels to do the steering and the rear wheels to handle the power delivery. It also allows for smokey burnouts. The trouble is, RWD cars are more complex to produce and are therefore more expensive. This is why most practical economy cars like the 2020 Mazda6 sedan are front-wheel-drive.
The Mazda6 is an interesting example because despite being FWD, it is pretty enjoyable to drive compared to its competitors. However, recent rumors suggest the next Mazda will move to a RWD platform, which got us thinking: What other cars would we like to see make the switch from FWD to RWD? Here are five cars we think should make the move.
Long touted as a "four-door sports car," the Nissan Maxima possesses the styling you'd expect from a sporty sedan but not the drivetrain. The current Maxima sends 300 horsepower from a 3.5-liter V6 out to the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission (CVT). In an ideal world, we'd love to see Nissan grace the Maxima with Infiniti's 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 producing between 350 to 400 hp, sending power out to the rear wheels through a traditional automatic or, if we are truly dreaming, a six-speed manual.
Once seen as a boring runabout for retirees in Boca Raton, the Toyota Avalon has been completely transformed in its latest generation. It's now a pretty hot looking sedan and there is even a sporty TRD variant with aggressive bodywork, handling improvements, and a cat-back exhaust. The current Avalon drives pretty well, especially in TRD trim, but we'd like to see Toyota build a full-on Kia Stinger competitor with RWD, much like the old Chaser that was only offered in Japan.
We see the Chevrolet Blazer for what it is, a cool-looking crossover at a time when crossover sales are skyrocketing. Aside from the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota 4Runner, there aren't many mid-size body-on-frame vehicles left on the market. Ford is re-entering this segment with the upcoming Bronco, so we'd like to see Chevy do the same with a new model. Since the Blazer and Trailblazer names are already taken, GM might have to dig up another name from its illustrious past. Avalanche, perhaps?
RWD is preferred for most sports cars but FWD does have a valuable purpose for affordable hot hatchbacks. These cars are typically more practical than sports cars but are still fun to drive. Mini builds a large assortment of fun-to-drive hot hatches under its John Cooper Works performance division but the company has never dabbled with a RWD model. We would love to see Mini build a RWD coupe/convertible to rival the Mazda Miata. It would keep the classic Mini styling but offer its own unique driving experience.
Along with the entire Ford car lineup, the Lincoln Continental will die off after its current generation. The Continental is a great value full-size luxury sedan but even a Coach Door special edition wasn't enough to save the car from rising SUV popularity. If Lincoln had made the Continental RWD, would it have sold in greater numbers? Probably not. But we still think a full-size sedan with a 400-hp twin-turbo V6, RWD, and coach doors would make for an impressive vehicle.