Mazda's First RWD Model Is Arriving Sooner Than We Thought

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And it'll feature the new inline-six engine we've been waiting for.

The 2022 Mazda CX-5 made its debut recently, but it's nothing more than a subtle facelift and AWD being included as standard.

This is simply riding the CX-5 over until the new generation arrives. We know that both the CX-5 and the forthcoming Mazda CX-50 will be going upmarket and transitioning to a new rear-wheel-drive platform with power sourced from a new engine family that will have a BMW-rivaling inline-six. Previously, we thought the first model to make use of these would be several years away, but a new report from Australian publication Drive suggests we'll get a taste of it sooner than expected.

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Managing director of Mazda Australia, Vinesh Bhindi, confirmed to the publication that the brand "anticipates the arrival of new generation, large platform SUVs arriving in 2022."

We know the new platform will be available in rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive. Base models will likely be RWD only, while top-spec models will use an AWD system that engages the front axle when slip is detected at the rear.

The current default is front-wheel-drive, with the rear wheels kicking in when needed. But there are some exceptions, like the Alfa Stelvio, Jaguar F-Pace, and BMW X4, who all use a similar setup to the one Mazda will use.

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The next-generation Mazda SUVs will be available with inline-six engines with mild-hybrid assist or a plug-in hybrid system. We also expect an all-electric model to be included in the range at some point. The design will likely be sleeker, with some styling elements from the RX Vision included. Recent patents by Mazda have alluded to the fact that the inline-six engine will make use of both conventional turbocharging and electric supercharging.

The current CX-5 is already an excellent driving machine, relatively speaking. Its fully independent suspension is tuned for minimal roll and maximum engagement. While not entirely on par with the Alfa Stelvio, it is good fun to drive. More fun than any SUV needs to be.

With that in mind, we can only imagine what Mazda can do with a RWD platform and six-cylinder power.

2022 Mazda CX-5 Front Angle View Mazda
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2022 Mazda CX-5 Trunk Space Mazda
Source Credits: Drive

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