At least there's one automaker building affordable cars that understands gearheads.
Pick any non-luxury automaker and you'll notice that a majority of its model lineup consists of front-wheel-drive cars. Where there was once standard rear-wheel-drive SUVs, these have now been swapped in favor of FWD car-based crossovers. It's all a bit sad, but a group of Mazda engineers is reportedly pushing the Japanese automaker to revive RWD models. Why? It would help Mazda distance itself from its rivals and help further establish its performance credentials. Now that the RX-8 has been discontinued, only the MX-5 remains RWD; everything else is FWD.
But this group of engineers feels a switch back to RWD would make their cars more fun to drive with an improved dynamic character. However, Mazda's top management is supposedly reluctant with this approach due to the high costs involved in designing new platforms for its mainstream lineup. One possible source of help could come from Alfa Romeo, who recently announced that Mazda will build a new Spyder based on the next-gen MX-5 platform. Alfa is planning a complete switch to RWD and it may even be willing to collaborate further with Mazda in sharing those platforms.